Articles & FAQ

What Should I Expect from the Car Accident Injury Settlement Process with State Farm?

Category: Articles & FAQ |

Car accident injury in Florida? This article will help you understand the factors that most impact the potential settlement amount for your injuries and damages when dealing with State Farm. Handling a car accident injury settlement with an insurance company can be complicated and stressful. Unfortunately, this process cannot always be avoided. However, an experienced personal injury attorney can play a pivotal role in obtaining a favorable settlement. If you have been involved in a car accident in Florida and are overwhelmed with handling the claims process with State Farm, or any other insurance company for that matter, we want to help. The Tampa car accident lawyers at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk have a reputation for excellence in helping car accident victims recover. We have extensive experience dealing with insurance companies, and we are ready and willing to fight for your rights to get you the compensation you deserve. What You Need to Know About State Farm Accident Settlements The Florida car accident settlement process can be strenuous and time-consuming. To make matters worse, it often feels as if insurance companies, like State Farm, will try anything they can to deny your claim or pay out as little as possible. However, there are some important things you should know that can help you maximize your State Farm accident settlement. What Steps to Take After a Car Accident in Florida The time immediately following a car accident in Florida is crucial. If you are able, there are a few important steps that you should take to give yourself your best shot at success: Stop and check for injuries;  Call the police and report the accident; Get identification and contact information of other parties involved in the accident; Gather evidence to support your claim; Take photographs of the scene and the vehicles involved Collect witness statements; Seek medical attention to further assess any injuries; and Continue to monitor how you feel in the coming days and weeks.  Unless you have sustained substantial injuries in your car accident, in which case you should seek medical attention immediately, it is imperative that you take the above steps. State Farm may try to deny your claim for a number of reasons. However, taking the appropriate steps and collecting as much information and evidence as possible can go a long way in preventing your claim from being denied. What to Do If You Are Insured by State Farm  Once you’ve made sure to take the proper steps immediately after your accident, it is time to begin your claims process. If you have sustained injuries or property damage in a car accident and you are insured by State Farm, the first step in this process will be to contact State Farm to file your claim. In fact, your policy will often require this. Failure to promptly file your claim could result in losing out on valuable compensation you may be owed. You can file a claim online or by calling 800-SF-CLAIM (800-732-5246). Once you file your claim, State Farm will assign an insurance adjuster to investigate your claim and negotiate your settlement with you. However, it is important to note that you do not have to sign or accept any settlement that State Farm offers you. We would always recommend consulting with an attorney before agreeing to any settlement to ensure that you do not miss out on any compensation you may be entitled to. What to Do If State Farm Contacts You If you are not insured by State Farm and they contact you, know that you are not obligated to speak with their representatives. In this scenario, State Farm does not represent your best interests. Rather, they will have a strong financial incentive to protect the interests of their insured. Thus, State Farm will likely do everything in its power to deny your accident claims outright or negotiate the lowest possible settlement. Dealing with another party’s insurance company can feel intimidating. Our car accident attorneys can take on this burden and communicate with them on your behalf. Don’t feel pressured to accept any offer until you have had a chance to review it with a lawyer. What Is the Average Settlement Amount for Whiplash? Unfortunately, there is no “average” settlement amount for a whiplash claim or any other bodily injury resulting from a car accident. However, there are certain factors that exist that can help you determine your potential recovery. What Compensation Can I Recover? In a Florida car accident case, there are generally two types of damages for which you may receive compensation: compensatory damages, which can be broken down into economic and non-economic damages, and punitive damages. Economic damages are the monetary losses that you incur as a result of your accident. These include: Past and future medical expenses; Property damage; Loss of earning capacity; and  Lost wages.  Economic damages will help compensate you for your financial losses. Thus, it is important to get the full amount you are owed from the insurance company so that you can begin to recover. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are more subjective and can be difficult to ascertain and calculate. Examples of non-economic damages include: Pain and suffering;  Loss of enjoyment of activities; and  Loss of consortium.  Economic damages will help compensate you for your financial losses. Thus, it is important to get the full amount you are owed from the insurance company so that you can begin to recover. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are more subjective and can be difficult to ascertain and calculate. Examples of non-economic damages include: Are There Any Limits to My Amount of Recovery?  In Florida, there are no limits to the amount of compensatory damages a court can award in a car accident lawsuit. However, State Farm will not be obligated to offer a settlement amount above the policy limit. Thus, if your actual damages exceed State Farm’s settlement offer, you may need to begin to consider whether you want to settle or seek a higher award through...

Continue Reading

Injured at Work: Personal Injury at the Workplace vs. Workers’ Compensation Claims

Category: Articles & FAQ |

Injured at your workplace? This article will help you understand the factors that most impact the potential claim to file for your injuries and damages. According to the National Safety Council, there is a personal injury at the workplace every 7 seconds. The leading causes of workplace injuries are overextension, contact with objects and equipment, and slip and falls.  Workers who sustain a personal injury at work will often assume that a workers’ compensation claim is the only avenue for recovery, but this is not always the case. Although most employees will likely think of filing a workers’ compensation claim as their next step, many fail to consider the benefits of filing a personal injury claim. If you have sustained a personal injury at work, you may be entitled to compensation. The personal injury attorneys at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk can evaluate your claim and help you determine whether you should file a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury claim. Contact us today to learn more about how you can seek to maximize your recovery. What Is a Workers’ Compensation Claim?  Florida law requires most employers to obtain workers’ compensation coverage. It is also important to note that Florida has a no-fault workers’ compensation system. This means that you do not need to show fault on your employer’s part to receive compensation for your claim. While Florida has created a great system with many benefits to provide workers with compensation for their work-related injuries, there are also some downsides that make other options more appealing. Understanding the pros and cons of a workers’ compensation claim will help determine whether pursuing this is right for you. Pros of a Work Injuries Compensation Claim   Once you file your workers’ compensation claim and your employer’s insurance company approves coverage of your work-related injury or illness, Florida law requires your employer to:  Provide you with an authorized physician; Pay for any authorized and medically necessary care and treatment related to your injury or illness; and  Provide you a one-time change of physician within five business days’ receipt of your written request.  These are all great benefits that give you a certain level of autonomy over your own medical care while also ensuring that you do not have to cover your own costs. Authorized treatments that your employer will cover include:  Doctor’s visits, Medical tests,  Hospitalization, Prescription drugs,  Rehabilitation and physical therapy, and  Travel expenses to and from authorized medical treatment or pharmacies.  This will allow you to recover for your injuries without the added stress of worrying whether you will be able to afford your necessary treatments. In some cases, Florida law also provides for wage replacement benefits. If you are unable to return to work or must return in a reduced capacity due to your injuries, you may be entitled to one or more of the following additional benefits: Temporary total benefits, Temporary partial benefits, Permanent impairment benefits, and Permanent total benefits. These benefits provided for under Florida workers’ compensation law can go a long way in helping you recover. However, there are also a number of disadvantages that are important to take into consideration. Cons of Work Injuries Compensation There are a few disadvantages of the workers’ compensation process in Florida that may affect your decision to pursue this type of claim. The primary con of pursuing a workers’ compensation claim is that you will forfeit your right to pursue other avenues of recovery. You will be unable to pursue non-economic damages or sue your employer moving forward for a negligence claim related to your injuries.  Additionally, you could ultimately have your workers’ compensation claims denied. There is a chance that your employer’s insurance provider will try to find a way to deny or undercompensate you for your actual costs. This could leave you with no other option than to pay your remaining costs out of pocket so that you can fully and properly recover.  Further, it can be difficult in some scenarios to prove that your injury is work-related. Section 449.09 of Florida’s workers’ compensation law states that treatment costs will be covered only if the work-related injury was the “major contributing cause” of any resulting injuries. This means that if your need for treatment is not more than 50% related to your work-related accident, your employer does not need to compensate you. This can complicate matters in a workers’ compensation case. For example, if you have a pre-existing condition, or if you were recently injured in another unrelated accident, you may have a difficult time proving that your work-related injury should be covered.  What Is a Claim for a Personal Injury at Work?  Injuries can happen to anyone at any time, and claims arising in the workplace are no exception. In general, a personal injury claim will arise where you are injured due to the negligence or fault of another party. One of the primary differences between a personal injury claim and a workers’ compensation claim is that while you do not need to prove fault in your workers’ compensation case, you do need to establish fault in a personal injury claim. However, Florida’s law bars you from pursuing a personal injury claim against your employer for ordinary negligence if your claim is covered by workers’ compensation. So, to bring a personal injury claim based on a workplace accident, you must either sue a third party who contributed to your injury or show that the employer’s actions amounted to more than ordinary negligence. Despite these additional hurdles that you must overcome to prevail on your personal injury claim, if you are able to do so, your recovery could ultimately be far greater than what you may be entitled to under your workers’ compensation claim. Why a Personal Injury Claim May Be Superior to a Workers’ Compensation Claim In some cases, a personal injury claim may be superior to a workers’ compensation claim. This is due in large part to the additional compensation you may be entitled to under a personal...

Continue Reading

An Overview of Florida Medical Malpractice Laws

Category: Articles & FAQ |

Injuries from medical malpractice in Florida? This article will help you understand the next steps to take for your injuries and damages. If you or a loved one has sustained injuries at the hands of a doctor, nurse, nursing home worker, or another medical professional, you may be entitled to compensation. The circumstances of your case could give rise to a Florida medical malpractice claim. Unfortunately, the legal definition of medical malpractice under Florinda law can be difficult to understand, as it has become somewhat murky. So how do you know whether you have a valid medical malpractice claim? The medical malpractice attorneys at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk have over 100 collective years of experience fighting for the rights of injured victims throughout Florida. We can help you answer this question and many more. In this article, we will discuss the standard for medical malpractice in Florida, what to do if you are injured, and where to go for help. What Constitutes Medical Malpractice in Florida There are four basic elements you need to prove in a Florida medical malpractice claim:  The health care professional owed a duty to use an ordinary standard of care, skill, and treatment; The health care professional breached that duty;  You suffered harm or damages; and The health care worker’s breach was the “proximate cause” of your damages.  It may be difficult to prove that all four of these elements exist in your case. However, it is absolutely necessary, as you cannot win your medical malpractice case without proving the existence of all four. While you can typically prove that you suffered damages and that a duty existed with little to no difficulty, the greatest hurdles to overcome will often be proving that the medical professional breached their duty of care and that this breach was the cause of your injuries. Thus, it is important to have someone in your corner who knows what to look for and how to prove your case. What You May Not Know About Medical Malpractice Laws in Florida Proving a medical malpractice claim in Florida can be difficult. If you have never dealt with a medical malpractice claim before, you may not even know where to start. However, having a basic understanding of medical malpractice laws in Florida can help you improve your chances of success. When Medical Malpractice Often Occurs Medical malpractice is unfortunately all too common. People often believe that medical malpractice occurs only in hospital settings, but this is not necessarily the case. Medical malpractice claims can arise in hospitals, nursing homes, and anywhere a healthcare provider has breached their duty of care to another, resulting in damages. However, this can be extremely difficult to prove and will almost always require the testimony of a medical expert witness. The standard of care that Florida law requires all health care professionals to abide by is defined as, “that level of care, skill, and treatment which, in light of all relevant surrounding circumstances, is recognized as acceptable and appropriate by reasonably prudent similar health care providers.” This lengthy definition can be difficult to interpret and apply to the facts of your specific circumstances. However, below are some examples of situations in which medical malpractice claims routinely arise: Improper or negligent administration of anesthesia;  Prescription drug errors when providing a patient with an incorrect dosage or wrong medication entirely;  Unsanitary conditions or equipment leading to infections;  Surgical errors, such as incorrect incision site or leaving a foreign object inside the body; and Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose.  Being able to recognize common instances of medical malpractice can help you identify whether you may have a valid claim. If any of the above happened to you or a loved one, contact us today so that we can evaluate your case. What Damages Can I Pursue for Medical Malpractice in Florida? If you can prove all four elements of your medical malpractice claim, you will be entitled to damages. In general, a victim in a medical malpractice case can recover compensatory damages that are designed to make them “whole.”. These are separated into two categories: economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are typically based on monetary losses incurred as a result of the malpractice These will include: Past and future medical expenses; Past and future lost wages; and Loss of earning capacity. It is critical to seek an accurate amount to cover all of your economic damages. This will allow you to fully and properly recover from your injuries. In addition to economic damages, a victim in a medical malpractice case may receive compensation for their non-economic damages. Non-economic damages include compensation for: Pain and suffering; Permanent impairment or disfigurement; Loss of consortium; and  Loss of enjoyment of life.  Whereas economic damages are typically easier to quantify, non-economic damages can be much more difficult to assign a monetary value to due to their subjective nature. However, victims can often recover an even larger amount for their non-economic damages than for their economic damages. Thus, it is important to understand that these damages may exist so that you don’t miss out on any potential compensation you may be entitled to recover. An experienced medical malpractice attorney can help you assess your damages and fight to ensure you get what you deserve. Recent Changes to Florida Medical Malpractice Law—Damage Caps Florida’s medical malpractice statutes limit recovery for non-economic damages in most cases to $500,000 per claimant. However, where the medical professional’s malpractice resulted in the death or permanent vegetative state of the victim, the damage cap is extended to $1 million. Despite these statutory limitations, the Florida Supreme Court recently rejected such caps of a victim’s non-economic damages, making Florida medical malpractice cases even more difficult to navigate. In North Broward Hospital District v. Kalitan, 219 So. 3d 49 (Fla. 2017), the Florida Supreme Court held that these types of caps “arbitrarily reduce damage awards for plaintiffs who suffer the most drastic injuries.” The court ultimately held that statutory caps on personal injury non-economic...

Continue Reading

What to Do If You Were Injured at a Publix Supermarket in Florida

Category: Articles & FAQ |

Injured at a Publix in Florida? This article will help you understand the next steps you should consider and how a personal injury attorney can help you. If you or someone you know has sustained injuries in a Publix supermarket, you may be entitled to compensation. However, if you have been involved in a slip and fall accident, you may be wondering what steps you need to take to recover the compensation you deserve. Navigating a Florida slip and fall case can feel overwhelming, especially if you have never been involved with one before. Fortunately, you don’t have to handle this on your own. The slip and fall attorneys at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk have worked with countless personal injury victims in Tampa and throughout Florida. We have helped our clients receive the compensation they deserve, and we are ready to fight to do the same for you. Why It Is Important to Hire a Personal Injury Attorney When Hurt in an Accident Hiring a personal injury attorney will be crucial to the success of your case against Publix. While you can always try to handle your case without any assistance, the benefits of having an experienced attorney in your corner cannot be overstated. Primarily, a personal injury attorney with extensive knowledge of slip and fall laws in Florida can be your advocate and argue the law on your behalf. This will allow you to stay focused on what matters most—your recovery. A Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You Interpret and Apply Florida Slip and Fall Laws Florida slip and fall laws can be complicated. It can be very difficult to prove that Publix is liable for your injuries without an in-depth understanding of the law in this area. Florida’s slip and fall statute states that a business establishment, like Publix, will be liable if: It had actual or constructive knowledge of a dangerous condition on the premises; The dangerous condition caused a person to slip and fall, resulting in injuries; and  The business establishment should have taken action to remedy the dangerous condition.  The statute anticipates that actual knowledge of a dangerous condition can be difficult to prove. Thus, constructive knowledge can also be used to prove liability. You can prove constructive knowledge using circumstantial evidence showing that: The dangerous condition existed for so long that “in the exercise of ordinary care, the business establishment should have known” that the condition existed; or  The condition occurred regularly, making its existence foreseeable.  As you can imagine, it is often very difficult to prove that the above requirements exist in your case. Making matters more difficult, there are additional intricacies in the law to consider. An experienced personal injury attorney will know the relevant law and apply it to the specific circumstances in your case. How an Attorney Can Help You Prove Your Publix Slip and Fall Claim How do you prove that Publix had actual or constructive knowledge of the dangerous condition that caused your fall? While it is true that this can be difficult to prove, it is not impossible. An experienced personal injury law attorney will know where to look to obtain critical evidence that you will need to prove your claim. Key pieces of evidence include: Video footage of the premises;  Photos showing substances left on the floor;  Employee logs detailing instances and frequency of cleaning; and Witness and employee statements. A personal injury attorney can help you gather this evidence through the use of formal procedural rules. The more evidence you have to support your claim, the greater your chances will be for success. An Attorney Will Help You Determine What Settlement Amount You Can Recover According to the CDC, one out of every five falls will cause a serious injury. Common slip and fall injuries include:  Soft tissue injuries, Head injuries,  Traumatic brain injury (TBI), Hand and wrist injuries, Hip fractures, and Back and spinal cord injuries.  If you have sustained any of the above injuries as a result of a Publix slip and fall accident, you may be entitled to compensation. A personal injury attorney can help you determine what compensation might be available so you can maximize your settlement amount. In a personal injury lawsuit, there are many damages for which you might receive compensation. Damages are the monetary award that a personal injury victim is entitled to as compensation for their loss or injury. In a slip and fall case, available damages might include: Past and future medical expenses; Lost wages or diminished earning capacity;  Loss of consortium; and  Pain and suffering.  While expenses like hospital bills and lost wages are not too difficult to calculate, things like pain and suffering can be more complicated to assign a monetary value to. An experienced slip and fall attorney can help you identify the damages that exist in your case and determine what amount you may deserve. Examples of Slip and Fall Lawsuits and Settlements Against Publix There have been many slip and fall lawsuits against Publix supermarkets. At Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, we believe that understanding the outcome of past lawsuits and settlements is imperative. While our firm did not represent the clients in the cases below, analyzing the courts’ decisions will allow us to better represent our clients in future slip and fall cases against Publix. Schaap v. Publix Supermarkets, Inc. In Schaap v. Publix Supermarkets, Inc., 579 So. 2d 831 (Fla. 1st Dist. Ct. App. 1991), a customer in a Publix supermarket slipped and fell on a piece of a cookie left on the floor. The Court in this case ruled in favor of Publix, reiterating that a plaintiff in a slip and fall case must prove that the owner of the premises had actual or constructive knowledge that the dangerous condition existed. Although the plaintiffs provided testimony of the assistant manager acknowledging that the premises flooring was dangerous when food was present, the Court ultimately found that they failed to provide sufficient proof that Publix could or should have been aware of...

Continue Reading

What to Know About Hiring a Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer

Category: Articles & FAQ |

Spinal cord injury in Florida? This article will help you understand what to know before hiring a spinal cord injury lawyer. Spinal cord injuries are some of the most severe injuries that can happen to your body. They can result in partial or total paralysis in some instances. When someone else’s negligence or intentional actions cause your injuries, you may have a valid personal injury claim. Because of the serious nature of spinal cord injuries, it’s not recommended that you pursue a claim on your own. Instead, retain a proficient Florida spinal cord injury lawyer who understands how these cases work. Why Is It Critical to Hire a Lawyer with Experience Handling Spinal Injury Cases? At Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, we have over three decades of experience handling personal injury matters throughout Florida, including spinal cord injuries. We understand how complex these injuries are and have the experience required to build a strong case against the liable parties.   Not all lawyers have experience dealing with cases involving severe injuries to the spine. These are typically very complicated and expensive cases to build and bring to trial if necessary. Additionally, your attorney must have the resources to advance fees and costs. For example, an attorney just starting their practice may not have the funds to hire the expert witnesses you’ll need. A spinal cord injury case is about more than just seeking financial compensation from the negligent parties. It’s also about working on your recovery.  We want to make sure our clients receive the best treatment possible, while also fighting to pursue the maximum compensation they deserve. Return to top ↑ What Are Some Examples of Spinal Injury Cases That Abrahamson & Uiterwyk Has Handled? We have handled numerous spinal cord injury cases. Some have resolved through skillful negotiations during litigation, while other cases were resolved through a jury award. Two settlements in spinal injury cases we’ve handled include: $5,000,000 verdict for a client who became a quadriplegic after being struck by a large truck; and $750,000 for a 69-year-old client who was paralyzed after the defendant lost control of their vehicle. Featured case result: $525,000.00 / T-Bone Accident / Spinal Injury / Citrus County, Florida This unfortunate accident occurred while our client was traveling north on County Road 491 in Citrus County, Florida. The defendant driver was exiting a funeral home headed west. For unknown reasons, the defendant pulled out directly into our client’s path. Our client veered left to try and avoid the collision, but the defendant kept moving west causing a T-bone impact with our client. Our client was taken to Ocala Regional Medical Center with significant injuries. While at the hospital, she was diagnosed with broken ribs and a contused right lung. Shortly after the accident, she began to also experience pain in her neck, back and left knee and sought additional treatment. She underwent multiple injections into her cervical and lumbar spine. Unfortunately, the pain continued and she came under the care of an orthopedic spine surgeon who eventually performed additional injections including a procedure for her lower back known as a radiofrequency ablation, which involves heating up the nerves that exit from the spine in order to relieve the pain. This too failed to adequately relieve our client’s lower back pain. She eventually underwent the permanent implantation of a spinal cord stimulator to relieve her pain. The insurance company hired counsel and fought the case hard. They argued that the injuries were pre-existing and not caused by the accident. Their initial offer was $40,000.00. We eventually persuaded them to engage in a mediation settlement conference where a neutral third-party mediator was hired to try to get the parties to agree to settle the claim. After a lengthy multi-day negotiation, we were able to convince the insurance company to pay substantially more than they had previously offered. The case eventually settled several days after the mediation for $525,000.00. The settlement amount was over 10x their original offer. We were pleased to be able to get our client properly compensated for their injuries. These are just two of the settlements and verdicts for spinal injury cases we’ve handled. It’s important to understand that every case is different. Your potential settlement value is dependent on the type of spinal injury you have, what level it’s at, and what your prognosis is. Return to top ↑ How the Level and Type of Spinal Injury Impacts Your Case When your attorney or medical professional refers to the level of your spinal cord injury, they are talking about where on your spine the injury occurred. It is categorized by the region of the spine—cervical, thoracic, or lumbosacral. The level is then completed with the number of the particular vertebrae in that region like C1, T2, or L3. You’ll find that spinal cord injury types are classified into two broad categories — complete or incomplete. A complete spinal cord injury means that the spinal cord is completely severed, and therefore there is no function below the injury. An incomplete injury means that only a portion of the spinal cord is severed. Therefore, some functionality may exist below the injury site. These are not the only way to classify a spinal cord injury. Your medical records will go more in depth and explain the specifics of your injury. They will refer to which part of the spine (front, middle, or back) was injured and your paralysis (quadriplegic, paraplegic, etc.). This information has a significant impact on the value of your case. A complete C1 level spinal cord injury means the spinal cord at the first vertebrae in your neck was severed entirely and that you are paralyzed from the neck down. An incomplete L5 level injury means the injury site is the 5th vertebrae in your lumbar region and that you have at least partial movement in your legs. Return to top ↑ What Types of Accidents Most Commonly Cause Spinal Injuries? Spinal cord injuries can occur in a wide variety of accidents. Any...

Continue Reading

How Much Can I Get in a Rear-End Collision Settlement?

Category: Articles & FAQ |

Rear-ended in Florida? This article will help you understand the factors that most impact the potential settlement amount for your injuries and damages. Rear-end collisions can leave unsuspecting victims with multiple injuries. Some of the most common injuries in these accidents can occur to the neck, back, head, and rotator cuff. Most people think about head and neck injuries in a rear-end accident. However, they may not realize their shoulder pain may also be related. If you injured your rotator cuff in a car accident, you might be entitled to reimbursement for your damages as well as your pain and suffering.  When you retain a professional Florida car accident attorney, we will help you fight for compensation for all of your injuries, time off work, pain and suffering, and more. Is There an “Average” Rear-End Accident Amount? It’s important to understand that if you’re presenting a claim after being rear-ended, the settlement amount will vary in each case. There is no average settlement amount for a rear-end accident or any other type of personal injury claim. The reason for this is that each claim is unique, and the accident circumstances aren’t always the same. Return to top ↑ What Types of Injuries are Most Common in Rear-End Car Accidents? Depending on the severity of the collision, the types of injuries will differ. Some of the most common ones include head, neck, back, and shoulder injuries. Concussions can happen regularly in rear-end collisions as your head may strike something in the vehicle. Head injuries are not always immediately apparent either. Sometimes it can take 24 hours for someone to realize they have a concussion. In more severe collisions, you may suffer a traumatic brain injury. Symptoms like headaches, blurry vision, sensitivity to light, or an inability to concentrate can be telltale signs of a head injury. Many plaintiffs overlook their shoulder pain and mistakenly assume it’s just sore. Torn rotator cuffs are painful and more common than people realize in rear-end accidents. Symptoms of a rotator cuff tear include: Shoulder and muscle weakness; Radiating pain down your arm; Limited range of motion in your shoulder; Clicking or popping sound when you move the painful shoulder; Struggling to raise your arm above your head; Swelling in your shoulder area; Neck or upper back pain; and Severe or sudden pain on the outer side of your shoulder. Your back and neck pain may only be soft tissue damage, or there could be something more serious going on. Having x-rays and even MRIs may be necessary to determine the extent of your injuries. Spinal injuries may be severe and cause pinch nerves, leaving you in excruciating pain and unable to walk. If conservative treatment options fail, you may need steroid injections or even surgery.   Return to top ↑ How Does the Type of Injury Sustained Impact the Amount of the Settlement? The type of injury you sustained will impact the overall rear-end accident settlement value in multiple ways. Your amount of medical bills is a primary example. Consider someone who has $200,000 in medical bills compared with someone who has $2,000 in bills. The plaintiff with several hundred thousand in bills will be asking for far more than the other person. Some injuries are more serious and therefore may be entitled to a higher dollar amount for pain and suffering. Someone who suffered only a mild case of whiplash will not receive the same settlement as someone who had to undergo multiple neck and back surgeries. Case values are based on a combination of other factors as well, such as loss of earnings, future treatment, disability, and physical vehicle damages. This is why no two rear-end collision settlements are the same.  Return to top ↑ Is the Driver Who Rear-Ends the Other Vehicle Always at Fault? No, the driver who rear-ends someone isn’t necessarily at fault. One common example of this is with a multi-car rear-end collision. The car that rear-ended you may have been pushed into you by the vehicle behind them. There are several other situations where the driver who rear-ends the vehicle in front is not entirely at fault. Perhaps the front vehicle suddenly reverses, or it has no working brake lights and stops suddenly. Or perhaps the front vehicle broke down and the driver didn’t put their emergency flashers on or try to pull the vehicle off the road. In situations like this, the driver in front may be at least partially at fault for the accident.  Return to top ↑ What Evidence Is Most Critical in Determining Fault in a Rear-End Collision? Determining fault in a rear-end collision is not always straightforward. While skid marks, witness statements, and scene photos are important pieces of evidence, they don’t always tell the whole story. Sometimes you need an expert to review the physical vehicle damages and witness statements. This can be accomplished by retaining an accident reconstructionist. These experts conduct a thorough review of the accident and provide a scientific answer as to how the collision occurred. They may also go as far as recreating the accident to duplicate the crash conditions in a controlled environment. The use of experts is typically reserved for cases with severe injuries and/or disputed liability. Return to top ↑ What Are Some Examples of Rear-End Cases That Abrahamson & Uiterwyk Has Handled? Our Florida car accident attorneys have handled numerous rear-end collision cases in our over 30 years of experience. Many of these cases resolved with six-figure settlements for our clients. Several rear-end collision settlement examples are: $875,000 for a 36-year-old female who suffered cervical and lumbar spine injuries; $750,000 for a client who sustained multiple injuries; $550,000 for a client who suffered severe injuries after the defendant failed to observe stopped traffic ahead; $525,000 for a 62-year-old man who had multiple surgeries to repair shoulder and cervical spine injuries after a serious rear-end collision; $500,000 for a 21-year-old passenger injured in a rear-ended vehicle who sustained herniations to their neck and back that required...

Continue Reading

What to Do (and Mistakes to Avoid) After a Slip and Fall Injury

Category: Articles & FAQ |

Slip and fall injury in Florida? This article will help you understand what to do and what not to do after a slip and fall injury in Florida. No one leaves the house thinking that today is the day they are going to fall down and injure themselves. A slip and fall injury can occur anywhere. You might be at the market, a hotel, the mall, a parking lot, or even at your job when you suddenly find yourself on the floor. It’s understandable that you may be confused about what to do after a slip and fall accident. Taking the right action is vital. If you make any mistakes, it can ultimately compromise your case. This is one reason why retaining an experienced Florida slip and fall injury attorney right from the start is so important. When you have a knowledgeable lawyer representing you, they will guide you through the entire claims process. Your attorney will keep you from making mistakes and jeopardizing your case going forward. 4 Steps to Take After a Slip and Fall Injury No matter the circumstances surrounding your slip and fall, there are some necessary steps that you need to follow. 1. See a Doctor Right Away One of the most critical steps after an injury accident is to get medical attention right away. Ensuring you are ok should always be your top priority. If you are seriously injured, you may need to be transported to the hospital directly from the scene. 2. Take Scene Photos Taking scene photos immediately after the accident is ideal. However, if you are seriously injured and cannot move, do not further risk your health and safety. If you are with someone else, ask them to take photos before being transported to the hospital. 3. Report the Incident to the Manager or Owner You must report the slip and fall as soon as possible. If your injuries aren’t severe enough that you are taken away by ambulance, reporting it right away is best. You need to let someone with authority know what happened. That can be a store manager, landlord, security officer, etc. If the incident occurred while at work, you need to let your boss and human resources know right away. 4. Contact a Florida Slip and Fall Injury Attorney One of the next steps should be to retain a Florida slip and fall injury attorney. You need to concentrate on your recovery and getting back to work. When you hire Abrahamson & Uiterwyk to represent you, our team of premises liability lawyers will be there to explain every step of the process. We will get to work right away on inspecting the scene, speaking with witnesses, and gathering all evidence that supports your claim. If we need to hire an expert to support your version of the facts, we have the contacts and resources to make that happen. Return to top ↑ Key Mistakes to Avoid After a Slip and Fall Accident Knowing what not to do after a slip and fall injury is essential and can help prevent you from putting your claim at risk. Insurance adjusters and defense attorneys almost always dispute slip and fall injury claims. Presenting the most persuasive case possible will make the difference on how much compensation you ultimately get. Here are some of the most common mistakes people make after a slip and fall injury: Do not report the claim timely or at all; Fail to obtain contact information for witnesses; Forget to get scene photos or collect any evidence; Don’t seek timely medical attention; Don’t report to their boss or human resources in work-related slip and falls; Give a recorded statement to the other side’s insurance company; Sign a release at the scene; Skip doctors’ appointments and therapy treatments; and Don’t hire a Florida premises liability attorney. Even if you made one of these mistakes, your attorney might be able to repair the damage. If you didn’t retain an attorney right away, be sure you pay close attention to your conversations with the property owner’s insurance adjuster. They may try to make you believe that they are on your side, but their top priority is finding a way to deny your claim outright. Their client is the property owner, and their job is to save the insurance company money.    Return to top ↑ After a Slip and Fall FAQ Understandably, we get a lot of questions from potential clients after a personal injury incident. We’ve compiled answers to some of the most frequently asked questions on slip and fall injuries. When Should I Go to the Doctor After a Slip and Fall? If you are not transported from the scene directly to the hospital, you should make an appointment right away. It’s best if you can see a doctor on the same day or the following day. You may have injuries that are not immediately visible, like internal bleeding or organ damage. How Long Do You Have to Go to the Doctor After a Slip and Fall?  The amount of treatment needed after a slip and fall varies. Your doctor will advise you on how long you will need treatment and your future prognosis. What Should I Do/Know If My Slip and Fall Happened at Work? If your slip and fall occurred at work, you need to let your boss know right away. You may need to report the claim to your human resources department as well. Reporting is crucial, even if you don’t think you are injured at the time. In most circumstances, you will need to file a workers’ compensation claim to recover any damages. Once your claim is reported, you will be contacted by the claims adjuster who will let you know what to do next. They will provide you with a list of approved workers’ compensation doctors that can treat you. For most work-related injuries, your sole source of recovery may be the payments received through your employer’s workers’ compensation policy. However, some workers’ compensation...

Continue Reading

What to Expect and How to Prepare for Your Free Personal Injury Consultation

Category: Articles & FAQ |

Personal injury consultation in Florida? This article will help you understand you should expect and questions to ask. When you have been injured in a personal injury accident, choosing the right attorney can feel daunting. Don’t let the fear of making a wrong choice keep you from retaining a lawyer. Almost all Florida accident lawyers offer a free consultation. If you are searching online for a “personal injury lawyer near me” with free consultations, be sure to contact us at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk. Our lawyers have over 30 years of experience handling personal injury and accident claims throughout Florida. Before you meet with Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, make sure you are well-prepared. Be sure to gather all pertinent information and have a list of questions written down to ask during your consultation. To get you started, we’re sharing how to get prepared and what to expect at your initial personal injury consultation. Information You Should Gather for Your Consultation Make the most of your initial consultation by bringing as much information and evidence about your case as possible. Some of the most important documentation to have with you includes: Government-issued ID, Accident or incident report, Scene photos, Police citation, Insurance information, Insurance company correspondence, Injury photos, Witness information, Emergency room records, Doctor reports, Diagnostic lab results, Receipts for accident-related expenses, Pre-existing medical conditions, List of current prescriptions, Your notes, and Any other pertinent information. Some of these may not apply to your situation, which is fine. For example, you may not have the accident report back yet or the police may not have issued a citation. If you haven’t already written down notes about the accident, start now. It’s not uncommon to forget small details as time goes on. You should write up a comprehensive account of everything that happened at the scene of the accident. Having all of this documented in one place will help your future attorney as well.   Return to top ↑ Questions the Attorney Will Likely Ask You When you meet with an injury attorney for your free consultation, most of that meeting will be spent discussing what happened during the accident. The attorney wants to know your version of events and what injuries you sustained. An experienced attorney will ask you plenty of questions to learn more about your case. Attorneys also use this time to assess you as a potential client. They do this as a way of evaluating how you will appear on the stand or during a deposition.  The attorney will likely ask you about the following information during your consultation. Timing One of the first questions your attorney will ask before proceeding is when the incident or accident occurred. Attorneys need to find out whether the statute of limitations has already passed. In most cases, this may not be an issue. However, there are some claims where the statute of limitations is about to expire or already has. In those situations, it’s nearly impossible to get the court to accept your filing, so an attorney may decline to take your case. Facts of the Case Expect that you will be asked about specific details of your accident. They want to know whether you received a traffic citation or if criminal charges were filed.  The attorney will probably ask if you previously provided a recorded statement to the insurance adjuster and what you said. They are trying to determine whether you may have inadvertently admitted fault or said something that could harm your case. Medical History Your attorney needs your prior medical history to understand what your life was like before the accident. When you bring all that documentation with you, it saves time and allows the attorney to move on to the next set of questions. Return to top ↑ Questions That You Ought to Ask the Attorney Use your list of prepared questions to help assess whether a firm is the right fit for you. Some clients come to us after disappointing meetings with other firms. There are several reasons for this. It may be because they were caught off guard by something said or their case was transferred to an attorney with less experience. We want you to be happy and feel secure in your decision to retain Abrahamson & Uiterwyk. When you have a list of questions to ask us at the initial consultation, you can make an educated decision on whether our firm is right for you.    Questions you should be asking at your first meeting include: What will happen after this free consultation? How long do you think my case will take to resolve? Will you be the attorney assigned to my case? What is your background with these types of cases? How long have you been practicing? What is your record at trial for similar cases? What is your billing structure? Who will deal with my current medical bills? What is your timeframe for returning client calls and emails? How long do I have before we need to file a lawsuit? Do I need to do anything else after this meeting? How are you different from other Florida personal injury firms? When will I receive payment after my case settles? How much will you take from my settlement? There may be some other questions to ask that are specific to your case. Perhaps you have been negotiating with the insurance company already, and they extended an offer. You may have questions related to that offer and whether it’s fair. It’s better to have more questions on your list than not enough.   Return to top ↑ Contact a Florida Accident Lawyer for a Free Consultation  If you have been injured in a Florida personal injury accident, don’t attempt to resolve your case on your own. Retaining an experienced attorney can help you maximize your case value. We can also help expedite the claims process.  We understand that this is a stressful and confusing time for you. We offer professional, yet compassionate, legal representation. We want to help...

Continue Reading

How Much Should I Expect from My Florida Auto Accident Settlement?

Category: Articles & FAQ |

Car accident in Florida? This article will help you understand the factors that most impact the potential settlement amount for your injuries and damages. If you were injured in a car accident in Florida, you are probably wondering how much money you can recover from a car accident settlement. Many factors affect your car accident settlement amount. Every case is different, so your settlement entirely depends on the specifics of your accident, injuries and damages. At Abrahamson & Uiterwyk our car accident lawyers research the specifics of your case extensively and represent you during negotiations. Along with the factors that we will explain below, legal representation significantly affects your settlement amount. Due to our experience and expertise, our attorneys help clients achieve a higher average car accident settlement amount. The car accident attorneys of Abrahamson & Uiterwyk are ready to discuss your accident and settlement amount during a free case evaluation. If you’ve been injured in a Florida car accident we invite you to contact us by phone at 800-753-5203 or online anytime to get answers from our qualified legal professionals. What is the Average Auto Accident Settlement in Florida? Unfortunately, there is no average settlement amount for car accidents in Florida. This is because settlements depend greatly on the unique circumstances of each case. Several factors affect your settlement, including: Negligence of the at fault party, Any contributing negligence of the injured party, Extent of impact and property damage, Whether the at-fault driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, Amount of available bodily injury insurance coverage with the at-fault vehicle owner and driver, Amount of available uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance coverage with the injured party, their resident relatives, and the car they are in, Severity of your injuries, Extent of pre-existing injuries, Ability to prove the injuries were caused by the accident, and Extent of your damages including pain and suffering, past and future lost wages, and past and future medical bills. Since settlement amounts are highly contextual, it’s best to discuss the specifics of your case with one of our personal injury attorneys. Return to top ↑ Examples of Abrahamson & Uiterwyk Auto Accident Settlements At Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, we have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation for our clients. Here are several recent auto accident settlements we have achieved for our Florida clients: $525,000.00 / Motor Vehicle Accident / Spine and Back Injuries / Dade City, Florida On July 22, 2016, our client was attempting to make a U turn on Highway 301 in Dade City, Florida and was stopped in the median. The defendant was headed south on U.S. 301 when he left the roadway, crashed through a street sign and struck our client causing him to be pushed into oncoming traffic whereupon he was struck by a passing northbound vehicle. This photo shows the damage to our client’s vehicle as a result of the accident. The defendant later claimed that a phantom vehicle rear-ended him causing him to strike our client. Our client was transported to the hospital with back injuries and later followed up with several physicians. An MRI scan revealed large disc herniations in his lumbar spine. He exhausted all conservative care, including therapy and epidural steroid injections. Ultimately, he required a discectomy operation to relieve the pressure in his spinal canal. Our attempts to settle the case before a lawsuit were rebuffed by the insurance company, which acted unreasonably and refused to take responsibility for the accident. Therefore, we filed a lawsuit against the at fault party. During the course of the lawsuit, we pressured the insurance company to produce proof of their claims that they were not the at fault party, and that someone else had caused the accident. Eventually our pressure was successful, and we were able to force the company to pay $525,000.00 as compensation for our client’s injuries. $500,000.00 / Car Accident / Herniated Discs / Homosassa, Florida Our client was traveling on a main road in Homosassa, Florida, when a vehicle from her right, exited a private driveway directly into the path of our client. As a result of the other driver’s carelessness, our client impacted the side of the other vehicle. The impact was so severe that our client’s air bags deployed, and the vehicle was considered a total loss. This photo shows the damage to our client’s vehicle as a result of the auto accident. After the accident, our client was transported to the emergency room where she was diagnosed with neck pain, chest pain and right arm pain. Following her discharge from the hospital, our client began conservative care with a chiropractor and underwent an MRI of the cervical spine and the lumbar spine. The MRI’s revealed multiple herniated discs in the cervical and lumbar spine. Our client ultimately had surgery at both the cervical and lumbar levels. Based on the injuries sustained by our client, Abrahamson and Uiterwyk sent a demand to the defendant driver’s insurance company and they agreed to pay $100,000, which represented the full amount of the defendant driver’s insurance coverage. Abrahamson and Uiterwyk also sent a demand to the owner of the vehicle that the defendant was driving, which turned out to be a local car dealership. The dealership had loaned the vehicle to the defendant while the defendant’s personal vehicle was being repaired. The insurance carrier for the dealership attempted to classify the loaner vehicle as a “rental car,” which would have had the effect of lowering the applicable insurance coverage to only $10,000. Abrahamson and Uiterwyk conducted an extensive legal analysis of the insurance carrier’s position and was able to prove to the insurance carrier, that their opinion was not supported by Florida law. The insurance carrier agreed and after further negotiation, tendered their policy limits of $500,000. $300,000.00 / Rear-End Car Accident / Neck, Back, and Shoulder Injuries / Citrus County, Florida On August 18, 2016, our client was northbound on Suncoast Parkway in Citrus County, Florida near the intersection of Veteran’s Drive. Unfortunately,...

Continue Reading

What Is the Average Settlement for a Rotator Cuff Car Accident Injury?

Category: Articles & FAQ |

If you sustained a serious shoulder injury in a Florida car accident, you might be facing the prospect of rotator cuff surgery. A rotator cuff injury can cause extreme pain and require extensive rehab and recovery time. If the actions of another person caused your accident and injuries, you deserve compensation for your losses. Due to the nature of severe shoulder injuries, rotator cuff settlements can be substantial. Although it is difficult to estimate an average settlement for a shoulder injury, a car accident lawyer can help determine the value of your case. Contact one of the experienced Florida car accident lawyers of Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today to learn more.     ROTATOR CUFF TEAR CAR ACCIDENT SETTLMENT FAQ What Is the Rotator Cuff? This term describes a collection of tendons, cartilage, and muscles that surround the shoulder. These tissues support and stabilize the shoulder and keep the head of the humerus (the upper arm bone) correctly situated in its socket. More importantly, the rotator cuffs allow you to make overhead movements with your arms. Movements such as swimming, shooting a basketball, putting on a hat or reaching for an object on a high shelf wouldn’t be possible without the rotator cuff.     ROTATOR CUFF TEAR CAR ACCIDENT SETTLMENT FAQ What Does It Mean to Tear the Rotator Cuff? This injury typically occurs when one or more of the shoulder tendons detaches from the head of the humerus. Rotator cuff injuries are classified as either partial or complete tears, depending on whether any part of the tendon remains attached to the bone. The tear that occurs is more like a hole in the tendon. The severity increases as more of the tendon becomes damaged. Tearing a rotator cuff results in extreme pain. In addition, this injury severely impedes your ability to use your arm for lifting, reaching, and other common movements. If you suffer this type of injury, you could lose your ability to perform even the simplest of everyday tasks. These injuries can occur over time due to overuse. Rotator cuff tears can also happen suddenly, due to trauma from improper or heavy lifting or falling on an outstretched arm. A sudden, traumatic injury is known as an acute tear. However, some of the most common and painful causes of acute rotator cuff tears are car accidents and other motor vehicle collisions.     ROTATOR CUFF TEAR CAR ACCIDENT SETTLMENT FAQ What Are the Most Common Causes of Car Accident-Related Rotator Cuff Tears? Shoulder injuries are a common result of motor vehicle collisions of all types. Whether you were struck by another passenger vehicle, a bus, commercial truck, or delivery van, you face the risk of injuries such as rotator cuff tears. In Florida, some of the most common causes of car accidents include: Drunk drivers, Tired drivers, Distracted drivers, Speeding, Failure to yield, Failure to stop, and Failure to obey traffic signals. Single-car accidents, including rollovers, can also lead to severe injuries. Single-vehicle accidents are often caused by: Obstructions in the roadway, Road construction, Roadway debris, Poor road maintenance, Obstructed views, and Faulty vehicle components. Whether you had an accident with another vehicle, or another factor caused your car to crash, you have the right to pursue justice. If the actions of another person or party led to your accident, a personal injury attorney can help you recover the compensation you deserve for your damages.     ROTATOR CUFF TEAR CAR ACCIDENT SETTLMENT FAQ What Is the Average Rotator Cuff Tear Car Accident Settlement? Rotator cuff and other shoulder injuries can be complex to diagnose and treat. The prognosis for your recovery depends on the nature of your injury and how severe the tear is. These and other factors have a direct influence on the potential value of your claim. The unique nature of injury accidents makes it impossible to estimate an average settlement for a rotator cuff injury. Likewise, an online car accident settlement value calculator won’t be able to consider the details of your case or grasp all the damages you suffered as a result of the at-fault party’s negligence. To determine the approximate value of your rotator cuff car accident claim, contact one of our Florida injury accident lawyers at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today.     ROTATOR CUFF TEAR CAR ACCIDENT SETTLMENT FAQ Will Requiring Rotator Cuff Surgery Affect the Value of My Personal Injury Claim? Many serious shoulder injuries require surgical repair. Some more fortunate victims can have this repair performed arthroscopically. For this procedure, an orthopedic surgeon makes a minor incision. Through this incision, the surgeon inserts a small camera (scope) and surgical instruments to complete the repairs. Other accident victims cannot have their injuries repaired using this minimally invasive procedure. In that case, the surgeon must access the shoulder using a large, open incision. If your injury requires surgical repair, your medical treatment costs will be exponentially higher—and that increases the value of your claim. In addition, surgery often means a long, painful recovery involving physical therapy and rehabilitation. The pain and suffering involved in your recovery can potentially increase your claim’s value. Finally, if your injury left you with diminished range of motion or other permanent damage, your lawyer can pursue compensation for your disability as a part of your rotator cuff surgery settlement.     ROTATOR CUFF TEAR CAR ACCIDENT SETTLMENT FAQ Do I Need a Car Accident Lawyer to Get a Rotator Cuff Injury Settlement? In Florida, you are not required to have a lawyer to recover a settlement for your injuries. However, rotator cuff settlements pose several challenges. Unless you have a legal background or experience negotiating with insurance companies, you want to consider having an attorney on your side. When you choose an injury accident attorney from Abrahamson & Uiterwyk to assist you, you will benefit from our 30+ years of experience. We have assisted more than 20,000 clients, recovering more than $300 million in settlements and jury verdicts. We treat every client as though they...

Continue Reading