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.

Collect Critical Evidence From Your Accident With These Expert Legal Tips

Collect Critical Evidence From Your Accident With These Expert Legal Tips

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, you’re also dealing with your family’s grief, fear, and losses. It should come as no surprise that gathering evidence and improving your personal injury case aren’t your top priorities.

If you wait too long, it is more likely that your evidence will disappear, reducing your chances of getting fair compensation for your injuries. In the aftermath of an accident, physical evidence is often crucial to determining fault. Negotiations and trials place a higher value on tangible objects than on testimony, which, in the best of situations, is notoriously unreliable and only gets less dependable over time. A properly documented and saved piece of physical evidence will not disappear, and it will provide objective evidence of the extent of the damage and can be used to establish fault. In addition to the dented car door or broken bike frame, victims will also want to preserve a picture of the road conditions at the time of the accident. For more information and tips on collecting important evidence from your accident, continue reading below.

Collect Critical Evidence From Your Accident With These Expert Legal Tips
Collect Critical Evidence From Your Accident With These Expert Legal Tips

How Does Evidence Affect the Case?

Getting the right result quickly after an accident depends on evidence. In some cases, it can even prevent you from going to trial. You’re more likely to get a fair settlement before trial if the other party acknowledges that you have a strong case. It’s possible that they will decide to roll the dice if they are not convinced you have built the evidence in your case in hopes of confusing the jury and paying you less than you deserve. You can preserve evidence in your Florida car accident claim with these tips:

  • Write Down What Occurred: Your memory might be clear after an injury occurs. The details of something so meaningful can fade over time, even if you think you will never forget them. Moreover, you may find that an aspect you initially didn’t consider important ends up being crucial. Whenever you can, make sure to jot down all the details that come to mind. In order to build a meaningful case, your attorney will use the details of this account.
  • Journal Your Injuries: After an injury, keeping track of medical appointments and bills can be a challenge. Your treatment plan, and your progress must be documented. Record your appointments, expenses, and pain levels in a journal. Be sure to keep a copy of every medical bill and benefit explanation. Don’t exaggerate your injuries or pain, but be forthcoming. You may need to keep this record in order to put together your case later.
  • Don’t Wait: You lose evidence when you lose time. Even a short time from now, the accident scene may look very different. Often parties may want to change things quickly to hide valuable evidence. There is the possibility of witnesses moving away or forgetting crucial information. There are even time limits for pursuing your injury losses claim.
    You should start gathering evidence immediately for all of these reasons. The more evidence you can collect right away, the stronger your case will be. There is no such thing as too much evidence, and your attorney can explain how to gather the evidence necessary to support your claim.

Types of Evidence for Car Accident Claims

You will certainly want to seek compensation for injuries caused by negligence in a car accident. However, as a plaintiff, it is your responsibility to prove your case in a car accident case.

This means that you must prove all instances of negligence beyond a reasonable doubt. Therefore, you must prove that the at-fault party injured you because of their negligence rather than an underlying condition at the time of the crash. The following are the types of evidence needed for your car accident claim:

  1. Photos and Videos: Probably the most important type of evidence for car accident claims is surveillance video and photographs of the accident scene. Using photos or videos will help you illustrate multiple details of the crash, like what caused the accident, who was to blame, conditions of the road, who was involved, etc. Therefore, you should take as many pictures of the accident as possible when it occurs. You should try to take photos and videos of virtually everything, from the state of the road and nearby traffic signs to vehicle damage and your injuries. Photos and videos, along with other types of evidence, will be crucial in your efforts to prove that the other driver breached their duty of care.
  • Medical Records and Payment Statements: When it comes to proving your car accident case, medical records are vital. In any case, you must seek medical attention immediately following an accident, whether you have visible injuries or not. Be sure to record all the information associated with your medical appointments. Among these will be details about how you were treated, who you saw, and how much you paid (if any costs). Your medical records must also be provided to you upon completion of treatment. Diagnostic images such as MRIs and X-rays should be included. Also, gather all medical bills from every healthcare provider and receipts for medicines. The right medical records will show the extent of your injuries as well as the associated medical costs, thus justifying your settlement request and proving your losses.
  • Witnesses and/or Driver Statements: In a car accident claim, witness statements usually prove to be the most reliable evidence. These images serve the same purpose as photos in clarifying who is at fault. Therefore, you must obtain the names and contact information of all witnesses if you are able to do so. A witness can provide valuable details about what took place before and after the accident, thereby revealing how the other driver contributed to it. An experienced Florida car accident attorney may also be able to locate expert witnesses if necessary. These individuals often play a critical role in proving the legitimacy of your injury lawsuit by reconstructing the accident.
  • Police Reports and Other Official Reports: Immediately following a car accident, you should call the police. The law in Florida still requires you to report an auto accident, even if no one shows up, particularly if people are injured or property is damaged. Police reports must be acquired whether you file the report yourself or if they are called to the accident scene. Despite the fact that police reports may not be admissible in court (because of hearsay laws), they may be pertinent during a settlement negotiation. Moreover, it contains important information about witnesses, the officer’s conclusions regarding traffic violations, speeds, roads, etc. All of these can be useful in proving fault.
  • Surveillance Footage: Traffic cameras can be installed in nearby buildings, stores, gas stations, and offices. When you know exactly where the accident that caused your injuries took place, you may be able to obtain surveillance footage to prove the other party was at fault. You should also keep in mind that this type of evidence must be obtained legally, a reputable Florida car accident attorney will be able to assist you.
  • Vehicle Debris and Wreckage: When examining wreckage, you can establish various facts such as speed and direction of the oncoming vehicle(s). There may also be shredded tires or broken brake lines that indicate the manufacturer may be at fault. Ensure all wreckage and debris are secured, and hire an experienced car accident attorney to evaluate the evidence.

How a Car Accident Attorney Can Save Evidence

The best way to ensure all the evidence that will help you build your case is to hire an experienced car accident lawyer. With the help of a skilled attorney, evidence that would have otherwise been lost quickly can be preserved and documented using procedures that require extensive knowledge and expertise.

An attorney may use the following strategies to preserve evidence in an injury case:

  • Recover Surveillance Footage. As mentioned earlier, surveillance footage must be obtained legally. Your attorney may be able to request and recover any footage from a surveillance camera before it is erased.
  • Open Records Act.  Through the Open Records Act, any intersection with traffic cameras can provide footage to victims of accidents. While your lawyer is negotiating the red tape involved in recovering the footage, you can focus on your healing.
  • Send an Anti-Spoliation Letter: Evidence that is damaged during a personal injury case needs to remain intact as evidence. An attorney can write a letter of anti-spoliation ordering the object in question to be preserved. A letter such as this should be hand-delivered or sent in a way that provides proof of delivery.

Contact Calandro Law in Riverview Florida

Whether you have suffered due to another’s negligence or just need help gathering evidence and demanding fair compensation, Calandro Law can assist. As experts in collecting time-sensitive, difficult evidence, our lawyers will do whatever it takes to find out what happened to cause your injuries. Contact us here to schedule a free case evaluation.

Tips for Returning to Work After a Serious Injury

Tips for Returning to Work After a Serious Injury

Adrenaline rushes through the body after being involved in a car accident, making it seem as if someone is fine, even though they are seriously injured. You should wait three days at least to let the adrenaline completely disappear from your body and check for any injuries.

You are likely to have many racing thoughts if you’ve recently been injured in a car accident. You’re probably feeling overwhelmed. The time away from work, the medical bills in the future, and if you’ll ever be able to live like you did before the accident may concern you. Furthermore, you are unlikely to know how severe your injuries are until weeks after your accident.

The amount of additional time you need to take off work may depend on the severity of your injuries, the treatment plan, and your doctor’s recommendations. You will be more likely to re-injure yourself or prolong your recovery if you return to work before you are fully healed. Here are some tips for preparing for your return to work after a serious injury:

Follow Up with Doctor’s Appointments

Document Evidence of Your Symptoms and Complications

Keep in Touch with Your Employer

Respect any Limitations from Your Injury

Do Not Go Back to Work Before You are Ready

Know What to Do If You Re-Injure Yourself or Learn You Can’t Go back to Work

Consider Vocational Rehabilitation

Tips for Returning to Work After a Serious Injury
Tips for Returning to Work After a Serious Injury

Follow up with Doctor’s Appointments

In most cases, you’ll be provided with a treatment plan after your initial examination with a healthcare professional. Your primary care physician will need to schedule follow up appointments as well. Attending your physician’s appointments and following his or her instructions is important.

The longer you wait, the more likely you are to develop additional symptoms. You will need to document these so that you can revise your recovery plan. It’s also a good idea to let your insurance company know about these symptoms. You will be able to determine your return to work date when you receive your recovery plan and follow up appointments.

Your recovery plan may be impacted if you end up neglecting your medical responsibilities and end your recovery plan early. It is possible for your condition to worsen or to develop new ones. As a result, you may have to extend your recovery time before returning to work. In addition, if you do not follow your doctor’s advice, you may have difficulty getting compensation for your injuries.

Document Evidence of Your Symptoms and Complications

Whenever an accident occurs, the first step should always be to seek medical attention. Document your symptoms, both mental and physical. You will need this information not only for your personal injury case, but to provide your doctor with a clear understanding of your injuries, so they can create the best possible recovery plan for you.

As you recover, continue to keep a journal of your feelings. Your doctor will be able to better gauge your healing process, which will enable him or her to guide you as to whether it is safe for you to resume work. In addition to allowing your doctor to make adjustments to your recovery plan, documenting your feelings can help you identify potential complications.

Keep in Touch with Your Employer

A worker with an injury is required to provide their employer with out-of-work or restriction slips during the treatment period with regular updates that do not contain excessive details. In many cases, employers may help create a reintegration plan for an employee. A lot of these plans take into account the employee’s old responsibilities as well as their current abilities.
It is essential that an injured worker discuss his or her limitations with the employer before being allowed to return to work on light duty so that all parties are aware of the return to work expectations. When an employer cannot accommodate an injured employee’s limitations, the injured worker is entitled to remain out of work and continue to receive benefits until either the employer is capable of accommodating the limitations or the injured worker is able to return to full duty.

Respect any Limitations from Your Injury

When providing a disability certificate, doctors usually explain any limitations an employee may have. Some of these limitations may be:

  • Reducing hours an injured worker works during a shift
  • Limiting the amount and weight a person is expected to lift
  • Regular breaks during a shift.
  • Excluding the use of heavy machinery
  • Excluding certain work activities, such as bending, stooping, or crawling

It is critical to inform your employer of your limitations before returning to work and keep a copy of it.

When returning to work, employees should pay attention to their own bodies as well. When workers return to work, they usually pour all their energy into it. However, injured workers have a responsibility to inform their doctors of the nature of their employment so that a restriction slip can be issued according to their current medical condition. Those who have suffered work-related injuries do not want to relive the experience again. In order to avoid causing new injuries, it is crucial that employees respect their boundaries.

Do Not Go Back to Work Before You are Ready

You should not return if you haven’t been cleared to do so by your doctor. Your recovery may be affected if you return to work too soon, and you may re-injure yourself. Regardless of whether you feel well enough to return to work, you should still listen to your doctor. Make sure you can perform work tasks to your fullest capacity. Often overextended employees ask for trouble when they return to work before they are ready. In order to achieve a full recovery, your doctor may recommend that you return to work with medical restrictions. Re-injuring yourself after returning to work on your own and against your doctor’s advice can only lead to frustrations for both of you and your employer.

A Florida workers’ compensation lawyer can help if you are concerned about finances after your workers’ compensation benefits have been remitted or revoked. If you cannot work, your attorney may be able to seek benefits on your behalf.

Know What to Do If You Re-Injure Yourself or Learn You Can’t Go back to Work

Despite following your recovery plan and returning to work when you’re ready, there is always a chance you can re-injure yourself or your previous condition can resurface. Your employer will want to know about this and you should make an appointment with a doctor as soon as possible.

Upon returning to your place of employment, you may discover that you can no longer perform the duties of your previous role. You can discuss this with your employer. It may be possible to work in another position until your body heals more. It might also be a good idea to visit your doctor again as well. In order to find out why you cannot return to work yet, they’ll evaluate your injuries. It is possible that they will tell you to take more time off.

Consider Vocational Rehabilitation

An injured worker should determine if permanent work restrictions are appropriate after finishing treatment or when his or her medical care is close to being completed. The physician must indicate the circumstances under which a worker will not be able to return to their previous employment if they are permanent restrictions. If a worker is permanently restricted because of an injury and his employer can’t accommodate his restrictions, he might be eligible for vocational rehabilitation.

In vocational rehabilitation, a professional counselor assists the injured worker in obtaining new employment. During vocational rehabilitation, the injured worker is entitled to the same weekly benefits they received when they were receiving medical benefits and unable to work.

The purpose of vocational rehabilitation is to assist the injured worker in obtaining “suitable gainful employment.” Once the worker obtains such employment, whether with their old employer or a new one, vocational rehabilitation is completed.

The process of recovering and returning to work can be complicated and confusing. If an injured worker is provided with vague or inaccurate documentation, benefits can be terminated unnecessarily. In other cases, employers and insurers deny accommodation requests or vocational rehabilitation requests from injured workers. Therefore, it is imperative that employees who are injured have skilled and experienced legal representation to fight for their benefits.

Contact Calandro Law for Your Claim

To learn more about your rights and the claims you can make, we recommend you speak with an attorney who specializes in car accidents. At Calandro Law we are well versed in fighting for fair compensation for our clients. We’ve seen it all and are prepared to assist you if you’ve recently sustained a serious injury due to work or an auto accident. Contact us here to schedule a free case evaluation.

When it comes to recovering from an injury, it’s your health that matters most. So we suggest that you take the time you need to heal and let us help you seek the compensation you deserve.

Florida-Parking-Lot-Accidents-What-You-Need-to-Know

Florida Parking Lot Accidents – What You Need to Know

Whether you have been injured in a parking lot accident as a result of an unsafe property condition or due to a negligent driver, it is important to consider all of your legal options. If you have been injured in Florida, a knowledgeable injury attorney can formulate a strategy to protect your right to compensation.

It is possible to have a devastating accident in a parking lot. Property conditions are often the cause of these incidents. Owners of parking lots, for example, need to ensure that their parking lots are well-lit, free from serious potholes, have safe sidewalks, and are free of debris that can cause people to trip and fall. When they do not, people can suffer serious injuries, and often hold the property owners accountable. However, in some cases, parking lot accidents are also caused by distracted drivers who strike pedestrians while backing out of a spot or pulling into one. Whether your injury was caused by a driver’s negligence or human error, if you have been wrongfully injured in a parking lot accident, you need the assistance of an experienced lawyer. Continue reading to learn:

Common Types of Parking Lot Accidents in Florida

Who is at fault in a  Parking Lot Accident?

Who Has Right of Way

Florida Parking Accident Laws

What You Should Do After a Parking Lot Accident

Reporting a Parking Lot Accidents

 How to Avoid an Accident in a Parking Lot

Common Types of Parking Lot Accidents in Florida

The most common parking lot accident has to do with another vehicle’s door opening into another. If the responsible vehicle is still around, you can match those scratches.

Several other scenarios involving parking lot accidents are listed below:

  • Your car collides with a car pulling out of a space as you drive by
  • A shopper walking behind a car is struck by a backing car
  • A speeding driver hits a pedestrian in a parking lot
  • There’s a car that drives down the wrong lane in a parking lot

Suppose two vehicles are backing out of a parking space and collide end-to-end. What will happen? You may not realize how common this is. Parking lot end-to-end collisions (accidents caused when two cars back out into each other) occur frequently. A police officer may find it difficult to determine fault under these circumstances. According to the doctrine of negligence, drivers must both obey a duty of care to ensure that they are confidently operating their vehicles and are fully aware of where they are parked. As a result, the driver who begins backing out last is held responsible. The driver who backed out first would not be at fault.

When it is unclear which car led to the accident, the police officer on the scene will have to determine who is to blame by taking into consideration the context of events and the testimony of eyewitnesses. Though it doesn’t happen often, accidents may be considered no-fault if fault cannot be determined.


It is also common for drivers to collide with another vehicle while racing to park. In some of these accidents, the negligent driver is clearly to blame. Some others have “shared” responsibility. In such cases, it is vital to hire an experienced Florida car accident lawyer who can assess all the facts and determine who was at fault.

Who is at fault in a  Parking Lot Accident?

Florida’s rules of negligence govern parking lot car accidents. Someone who was negligent means that they could have avoided the collision with more care. According to Florida law, the person who could have prevented the accident if only they had acted differently should bear the blame.

If you want to determine fault, you need to evaluate the actions of each party in order to find out who acted negligently and caused the collision. It could be the driver or a pedestrian who is responsible.

  • When thinking about whose actions led to the accident, consider the following:

    • Were either party breaking any traffic laws, such as reckless driving or drunk driving?

    • Did either side back out while cars or people were in the way?

    • Which party is at fault for speeding?

    • Were there any pedestrians who ran into moving traffic?

    • Does anyone appear to have violated the parking lot’s traffic rules?

    • Would anyone involved have been wise to look around a bit more before proceeding through the parking lot?

    • Did anyone cause harm intentionally?

Who Has Right of Way

Florida and most other states give the right-of-way to the cars in the through lanes of parking lots (those looking for exits or spots). To be safe, people in the parking spots must yield to the cars in the through lane.

Cars that back out into a through lane will almost always be held legally responsible when they collide with vehicles in the through lane. The responsible party is considered to be at fault. It is possible, however, that there can be exceptions.

Florida Parking Accident Laws

If you haven’t been in a car accident, you should still be familiar with Florida parking lot laws, since parking lots are usually the most common location of car accidents.
When you or a loved one is involved in a parking lot accident in Florida, you may find it useful to know the laws regarding such an incident. Listed below are just a few key points to keep in mind about parking lot accident laws in Florida.


Parking lots are considered private property in Florida. Because of this, parking lot accidents do not always follow the same laws that apply to accidents on public roads. Due to this, police may not respond to a parking lot accident in which no serious damage has been done.

Additionally, the law in Florida requires property owners to maintain parking lots since they are considered private property. In this case, the property owner must maintain the pavement, provide adequate lighting, and remove debris.

Florida is a no-fault state, meaning it uses the no-fault insurance system. An insurance policy that does not pay for the injuries or damages of others involved in an accident is known as no-fault insurance.

When a person sustains injuries exceeding the limits of standard Personal Injury Protection, fault is considered. To fully compensate injured parties, determining fault becomes important.

What You Should Do After a Parking Lot Accident

Injuries sustained in parking lots often do not allow the injured person to do anything except wait to be transported to the hospital. Nevertheless, if possible, make sure that you document the details surrounding your accident so you can submit them into your personal injury claim. It is important that you take these steps if you find yourself in a parking lot accident:

  1. Call the police as soon as possible.
  2. Take pictures of the unsafe conditions that led to your accident.
  3. Obtain the contact information of anyone who witnessed the accident. Possibly, they will verify your claim at a later time.
  4. You should seek medical attention even if you aren’t seriously injured. Certain injuries may take a few days to manifest themselves.
  5. Make sure all medical records about your injury are available.
  6. Hire an experienced personal injury attorney who can help determine how your accident occurred and file a personal injury claim on your behalf-and do so within four years of the date your accident occurred, as Florida’s statute of limitations pertains to personal injury claims.

Reporting Parking Lot Accidents

The law of Florida requires you to report an accident if the damages or medical costs exceed $500. The police might not respond unless there’s an injury requiring an ambulance. However, it is still necessary to exchange information with other parties involved in the accident.

It is important for the police to be involved if this is a “hit-and-run” incident. If necessary, report the incident to the shopping facility’s management. To help identify the fleeing driver, they might provide security camera footage.

 How to Avoid an Accident in a Parking Lot

There are many factors that contribute to car accidents in parking lots. Following a few safety protocols can help prevent these accidents:

  • Park in an area that is well lit.
  • Place any purchases you make in the trunk and avoid placing them anywhere that could distract you from driving safely.
  • Before you start moving, make sure you’re ready to drive – don’t start fastening your seat belt while you’re driving; do it beforehand!
  • Don’t speed in parking lots; take your time.
  • Be careful to back out slowly – remember to give way to cars going through the parking lot.

If you are involved in a car accident in a parking lot, contact a lawyer as soon as possible.

Contact Us

Calandro Law’s attorneys have the skills and knowledge to provide legal guidance to clients in Florida. The legal process can be complex and complicated, which is why we offer each of our clients compassionate and efficient legal assistance. To schedule a consultation please contact us here.

room being cleaned after discovering toxic mold in riverview, florida

Can You Sue for Mold? Ask a Toxic Mold Attorney

Over time, mold can affect a person’s living environment, including their health and property. Those exposed to toxic black mold will often become debilitated by it the longer they remain in the apartment, house, or unit. Long-term exposure can cause serious health problems, which worsen as time progresses. The more exposure a person has, the greater the threat to their bodies. In many cases, the toxic mold is not discovered until the tenant suffers catastrophic damage such as respiratory harm, internal organ damage, or mental impairment. 

A lawsuit could result if toxic mold is discovered in your home, apartment, or other property, especially if there was a pre-existing issue with the building, or if there wasn’t proper cleanup after a flood or other issue. Speak with a toxic mold attorney to learn if you may be eligible for compensation after being exposed to harmful mold. This article covers the fundamentals of toxic mold lawsuits: who might be liable, what kinds of losses can be recovered, and why you might need to act as soon as possible.

room being cleaned after discovering toxic mold in riverview, florida

What Is Mold? 

Mold is a fungus. It can be found almost anywhere in the environment, including the air. In general, low amounts of mold in the environment do not pose a serious health risk to healthy people. Black mold is not a specific mold – many molds are black. When people use the term, they may mean Stachybotrys chartarum, also known as Stachybotrys atra. No scientific studies have shown that S. chartarum is more hazardous than any other mold. 

In large quantities, mold may cause health issues in just about anyone if it is inhaled in large quantities. However, certain people may be more sensitive to mold spores, and they may develop respiratory symptoms after inhaling even a small quantity of spores. As such, mold growth in the home should be removed and steps should be taken to keep it from returning.

The Difference Between “Toxic Mold” And “Black Mold”  

Toxigenic molds produce toxins, specifically mycotoxins. As with other types of mold that can grow in your house, molds that produce mycotoxins may present hazards. 

Mycotoxins are not produced by all fungi, and even those that do will not produce them in all surface or environmental conditions. Mold growth, usually in the form of spots, can appear in a wide range of colors, and can smell musty. Color does not indicate how dangerous mold may be; it should be removed and the source of moisture that encouraged its growth should be removed. 

The reported health effects of toxic molds within homes are rare, such as pulmonary hemorrhage and memory loss. In these reports, the presence of toxigenic mold has not been proven to be the cause for these conditions.

The Symptoms Of Black Mold Exposure 

The growth of mold is most common in moist areas, including bathrooms, around windows, near pipes, and anywhere there has been flooding. The fungus can grow on a wide range of surfaces, including cardboard, wallpaper, carpet, and drywall. 

Obvious signs of mold can include black stains on the wall as well as mushrooms growing out of the carpet.Mold problems are often only discovered when people begin to experience health issues. As a result of mold exposure, you may experience: 

  • Nose congestion 
  • Wheezing 
  • Rashes 
  • A flare-up of asthma 
  • Feeling short of breath 
  • Coughing

Mold can trigger upper respiratory issues in people who are more sensitive to it. You are more likely to develop serious health problems if you are exposed to mold for an extended period of time, including organ damage and mental impairment. 

Check your property for mold if you experience allergy-like symptoms or what feels like a persistent cold. In the event that mold is present and has caused significant damage to your health and/or your property, you may be able to sue your landlord for damages.

Black Mold And Your Landlord’s Responsibilities 

It may be possible to file a lawsuit against anyone who has caused or contributed to the presence of toxic mold in your home or other property if you or a family member have suffered health problems or property damage due to the presence of toxic mold. 

You might have the option of filing a personal injury lawsuit, a property damage claim, or even a professional malpractice claim, depending on the specifics of the situation. 

Let’s see who might be liable for toxic mold harm: 

  • Renters can sue their landlord or property manager for health problems and damage to personal property caused by mold exposure. Renters’ insurance can also cover property damage. 
  • You may be able to sue a previous owner for most categories of losses after buying an existing home, but typically only if they knew about a defective property condition that led to a mold problem, were required to disclose the defect, and failed to do so. 
  • It could be the architects, builders, and contractors who violated building codes, did not obtain appropriate permits, or used faulty materials that contributed to toxic mold in a newly-built home. The suppliers of any faulty or faulty building materials could additionally be liable. 
  • Suppose you had toxic mold in your house after a flood, hurricane, or other disaster, and you hired a company to clean and repair it. The negligent company might be liable. 
  • A homeowner’s policy, renter’s policy, or health insurer policy may provide coverage for mold damage, or health problems caused by exposure to mold. You may be able to sue the insurer if it takes too long to decide whether a mold-related claim should be paid or if it denies a mold claim in bad faith (arguing that coverage for mold is excluded, for example).

What  Kind Of Losses are Covered?  

In a lawsuit stemming from toxic mold, the compensation categories (and amounts) that may be available may differ considerably depending on the particular facts of the case.  

  • A mold inspection and a price estimate are needed to assess the extent of damage and determine the cost of remediation. 
  • Resolve the issue and eliminate hazardous mold by making structural repairs, performing new construction or contracting work, as well as undertaking other remediation-related measures. 
  • Replacing damaged household items 
  • Housing costs during the repairs or for any period where the residence is not habitable 
  • You will be reimbursed for any medical treatment needed as a result of mold exposure (including ongoing testing and monitoring) provided you can prove that the exposure is linked to your health issues. 
  • Lost income due to health problems caused by mold 
  • If applicable and available, compensation for pain and suffering, anxiety, and/or emotional distress.

Steps To Take If You’ve Been Exposed To Black Mold 

As soon as you suspect your house has been contaminated by mold, it is imperative to have it tested. Take these immediate steps: 

  • Take Photos and Video: You should immediately take pictures and video of water damage, property damage, and anything else that may have caused the problem you can use the video and pictures as evidence for your case.  
  • Have the Property Tested: Test the property for the amount, type, and level of mold using a qualified testing company. For mold at your workplace or office, you may require a microbiologist or industrial hygienist (OSHA describes industrial hygienists as highly skilled professionals who create engineering and work practice controls to prevent exposure to health hazards). 
  • Give Notice to the Landlord and/or Property Manager: The landlord may fix the problem without your assistance – depending on the facts – for instance, if the landlord was aware of the condition before they rented the property to you, you might have a case. When you give notice to the landlord or property manager, you should do so in writing and keep good records of all written communication.  
  • Keep All Receipts and Make a Record of Any Damages: Take note of any property that is destroyed or damaged by the mold, including moving costs, testing costs, and property damage, as well as hotel and restaurant bills you incur. 
  • Seek Medical Attention Immediately: It is important that you seek medical attention if you have become sick due to toxic mold exposure. If possible, go to a doctor who is well-versed in mold injuries, such as a pulmonologist, allergist, or a toxicologist. 

Toxic Mold Lawyers  at Calandro Law

Calandro Law provides legal representation for those dealing with toxic mold in their homes, condominiums, or apartments. For more information, contact us anytime. As an injury law firm specializing in toxic mold issues, we’re fully prepared to assist you. You can trust that our legal team will stand by your side throughout the whole process to ensure you receive the settlement you deserve.

Schedule a free consultation today by calling us at (813) 563-6463 or filling out the form on the right side of the page.