Articles & FAQ

What to Do If You Experience Wrist Pain After a Car Accident

Category: Articles & FAQ |

Car crash victims commonly experience wrist injuries as a result of their accident. These injuries can be significant, causing pain and stripping the victim of mobility and function. If you are experiencing wrist pain after a car accident, it is important for you to seek medical treatment to help avoid complications and further damage. If your accident was caused by the actions of another party, you should also contact an experienced personal injury attorney to explore your options for pursuing legal action. In Florida, the experienced car accident attorneys of Abrahamson & Uiterwyk fight to protect the rights of the wrongfully injured, helping them get justice and financial compensation for their injuries and other damages. Types of Wrist Injuries You Might Suffer in a Car Accident Although a motor vehicle collision can cause virtually any type of injuries, wrist and hand injuries are some of the most common. Dislocations, sprains, fractures, and tendon damage are common. You could also experience nerve damage and other complications. Left untreated, these conditions can lead to permanent damage. You could be rendered unable to work or handle basic household or personal tasks. Next Steps to Take After a Collision If You Experience Wrist Pain After an accident, victims may not realize the extent of their injuries right away. Some injuries—especially internal and soft tissue damage—may not present with symptoms immediately. In addition, you might go into shock, which can also mask any pain or discomfort you would otherwise experience. It’s always best to seek medical attention at the scene of the accident or seek treatment immediately afterward. However, if you experience wrist or hand pain in the hours, days, or even weeks after an accident, consider the following steps. See an Orthopedic Physician Immediately after an accident, going to the ER or an urgent care facility can help ensure you get the treatment you need. If you develop pain later, however, see a specialist in the area of concern. For hand and wrist pain, that is likely to be an orthopedic doctor or surgeon. These treatment professionals have the knowledge and resources to thoroughly evaluate your condition and recommend the best course of treatment. If you don’t know an orthopedist, a personal injury attorney may be able to recommend one for you. Document Your Experience Whenever you are involved in an accident of any kind, it’s imperative to collect as much information as you can. On the scene, take photos and gather contact information from witnesses and other involved parties. Request the police report number from the officer on-scene, so you can easily obtain a copy later. Keep all receipts, medical treatment records, and any other documentation involved with your accident and the aftermath. Get a small, spiral-bound notebook and keep an ongoing record of your symptoms and how they affect your life. Together, these records will form the basis of your car accident injury claim. Talk to a Car Accident Attorney The sooner you can talk to a lawyer, the better. Having a lawyer onboard is highly effective for protecting your legal right to recover compensation. Your attorney can collect evidence and interview witnesses while the accident is still fresh in their memories. Waiting too long to pursue a claim may give the insurance company grounds for attempting to deny or undervalue your claim. What Is the Average Florida Car Accident Settlement for Wrist Injuries? Hand and wrist injuries can be complex to diagnose and difficult to treat. The nature of your injuries and how they may affect your life helps determine the potential value of your claim. However, because every accident is different, we can’t accurately estimate any average wrist injury settlement value. The best way to find out whether you have a viable claim is to consult an experienced attorney. The Florida injury accident lawyers at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk can evaluate the details of your case and recommend the best course of action. In most cases, we can reach a settlement agreement with the at-fault party’s insurance company. We have more than 30 years of experience. During that time, we have helped more than 20,000 clients and recovered more than $300 million in settlements and jury on their behalf. We provide a highly personalized level of service, helping us earn a wealth of praise and positive feedback from our clients. Contact a Florida Car Accident Attorney Today for Help The experienced and compassionate personal injury lawyers of Abrahamson & Uiterwyk will handle every aspect of your case. We take on the biggest insurance companies and fight to get you the outcome you deserve. Before you talk to the insurance company, provide a statement, or consider accepting any settlement officer, contact us to explore your options. For a free consultation, contact us today or call to speak to one of our Florida car accident lawyers about your case.

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Compensation to Expect From Nerve Damage After a Car Accident

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Along with bringing financial and emotional stress, car accidents can leave a person severely injured. Injuries resulting from a car accident can vary greatly, including nerve damage. It is essential to understand what nerve damage is and how it can affect you. Thankfully, you have legal options.  If you or a loved one has suffered nerve damage after a car accident, do not hesitate to contact a car accident attorney.  What Is the Nervous System? The nervous system plays a vital role in your body. This system is responsible for everything your body does, from controlling muscle movements to speaking. The nervous system is primarily composed of the brain and spinal cord.  There are three main types of nerves in the body:  Autonomic nerves: control heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, and other involuntary or partially voluntary bodily activities; Motor nerves: control every movement by sending signals from your brain down to your spinal cord and muscles; and Sensory nerves: located under skin and muscles, these nerves transmit information to your brain and spinal cord, allowing your brain to process feelings and sensations.  Because the nervous system is so important, nerve damage can severely affect a person’s quality of life.  What Is Nerve Damage? Nerve damage, or neuropathy, is often caused by stretching and pressure of the nerves or when an injury severs nerves completely. Nerve damage can occur for various reasons aside from accidents, including infection and exposure to toxins.  Nerve damage can occur in multiple locations in the body, most commonly the back, neck, and extremities. Typical treatment for nerve damage can include medication, physical therapy, or surgery. After a car accident, seeking medical treatment is essential to determine whether you’ve sustained nerve damage and to start treatment right away. How a Car Accident Can Cause Nerve Damage Because car accidents can be dangerous and result in severe injuries, nerve damage occurs often. Typical causes of nerve damage in a car accident include: Whiplash; Lacerations; and Blunt-force trauma.  The body can experience significant force and trauma in a car accident, resulting in nerve damage. However, this is not always immediately evident after a car accident. A doctor may be able to diagnose nerve damage even if you don’t feel it. Checking for nerve damage is another important reason to seek medical attention immediately after a car accident. Common Signs and Symptoms of Nerve Damage Nerve damage after a car accident can present itself in many different, unexpected ways. What you feel will all depend on the nerves affected and what kind they are. Common signs and symptoms associated with autonomic nerve damage include: Inability to feel chest pain, Dry eyes/mouth, Lightheadedness, Bladder dysfunction, and Sexual dysfunction. Signs and symptoms of motor nerve damage include: Weakness, Twitching, and Paralysis. Signs and symptoms of damage to the sensory nerves include: Numbness, Tingling, Pain, and A burning sensation. In some instances, a car accident victim may experience a mixture of symptoms, indicating damage to multiple types of nerves. It is crucial to discuss any signs and symptoms you are experiencing with your doctor to properly diagnose any nerve damage. What Compensation Can I Expect? If you’ve suffered nerve damage after a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation. The two kinds of damages you can seek are economic and non-economic damages.  Economic damages are straightforward and quantifiable. They include compensation for: Medical bills, Lost wages, and Loss of earning ability. On the other hand, non-economic damages are a little more challenging to calculate. These include compensation for: Pain and suffering, Mental and emotional anguish, and Loss of enjoyment of life. These damages are for emotional losses and typically have with little to no supporting documentation. Luckily, your car accident attorney will calculate the damages available to you, fighting aggressively to get the compensation you deserve.  Factors Affecting Compensation Certain factors may affect the amount of compensation you receive. Some of these factors include: The severity of the injury; Whether you share fault for the accident; The insurance company’s willingness to settle. Is a Lawyer Necessary? While no law requires anyone to have legal representation after a car accident, it is to your benefit to have a car accident attorney on your side. Car accident cases involving severe injuries like nerve damage can present challenges, but an attorney will know how to handle your case. Your attorney will: Conduct a thorough investigation; Gather evidence and documentation; Calculate damages; and Engage in settlement negotiations.  Having an attorney will give you peace of mind and allow you to focus on your recovery, knowing your case is in the best hands.  Get Your Accident Questions Answered Abrahamson & Uiterwyk has over 30 years of experience fighting for injured clients. We’ve had the pleasure of representing over 20,000 clients, working diligently to secure hundreds of millions of dollars in damages. Our team understands the hardship and frustration car accidents can cause, and we’re here to help you find a solution. We offer free case reviews. Contact us today, and let’s explore your legal options. 

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Am I Eligible for Compensation If I Experience PTSD After a Car Accident?

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A car accident can result in not just physical injuries but mental and emotional damage as well. Car crashes, especially those involving high-speed impact or serious injury are stressful and trauma inducing. Sometimes, the stress responses your body produces to help you cope during a traumatic event continue once the event is over. This can result in post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. PTSD can interfere with your life just as much as physical injury. You may be eligible for compensation for PTSD after a car accident.  What Is PTSD? When you witness an anxiety-inducing situation, your brain activates certain stress responses that are helpful in the particular situation. These responses, sometimes called fight or flight responses, include increased heart rate, feelings of anxiety, and hyper-alertness, including inability to sleep and focus. People suffering from PTSD continue to experience these symptoms long after the stressful event has passed.  PTSD manifests differently in different people, but some common symptoms are: Panic attacks; Anxiety surrounding certain events, places, or situations; Desire to avoid social interaction; Recurring recollections of the stressful event; Depression; Feelings of hopelessness or inability to feel emotions; Hyper-alertness; Paranoia; and Sleep disturbance. If you were recently in a car accident and are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. How PTSD Affects Your Car Accident Claim Several categories of car accident damages may account for the effects of PTSD on your life.  Damages related to car accident PTSD might be included in damages awarded for pain and suffering. One of the most important things about the effect of PTSD on your car accident claim is that you should avoid settling too soon after the accident. Often, the full extent of your PTSD symptoms will not be apparent right away. Even if your symptoms have appeared at the time you agree to a settlement, you may not yet be aware of the extent of the effect these symptoms have on your life. The avoidance and depression caused by PTSD may affect your personal relationships in the long term even though the short term effects are not evident. How We Will Help with Your Case The attorneys at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk can help you pursue compensation for PTSD suffered after a car accident. The experienced personal injury lawyers at our firm know how to use medical treatment records and other supporting evidence to establish that PTSD caused you losses following your accident. We can also provide you with the negotiating leverage you need to avoid accepting an initial, inadequate settlement offer.  Our attorneys have over 30 years of experience handling car accident cases. This includes extensive experience helping our clients obtain the compensation they deserve for PTSD after a car accident. Your case will be handed with compassion and professionalism from start to finish. Get Your Accident Questions Answered Contact Abrahamson & Uiterwyk to get all of your car accident questions answered. Our experienced attorneys and staff will discuss next steps and recommend the best course of action based on the details of your car accident. Call our office today to begin seeking the compensation you deserve for your car accident injuries, both physical and mental.

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MRI After a Car Accident | Pros and Cons

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Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may need an MRI after a car accident. MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging. It is a diagnostic test that allows doctors to see images of your non-bone matter. Injuries involving spinal discs won’t show on x-ray. Doctors need to order an MRI to diagnose your pain source. However, undergoing an MRI has pros and cons. If your injuries are severe enough to warrant an MRI, consider hiring a Florida auto accident attorney who can help. At Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, we have over 30 years of experience assisting Florida clients with their injury needs. We know the pros and cons of an MRI. We can help you understand exactly how an MRI works and whether it’s right for your situation. Types of Injuries That Are Common to Get an MRI For Because an MRI can show injuries not visible on x-rays, doctors may order one for pain complaints involving: Muscles, Joints, Sprains, Bones, Nerves, and Brain. Some of the most common injuries in a car accident that lead a doctor to order an MRI include, but are not limited to, herniated discs, torn ligaments or tendons, spinal cord compression, and traumatic brain injuries.  MRIs can also diagnose many other health conditions that are not related to an auto accident, such as cancerous tumors, arthritis, stroke, and multiple sclerosis. How an MRI Works When you have an MRI, you lie down in a tube, which scans your body. You won’t feel any pain from the MRI test itself. However, you might experience some general discomfort because you’re required to stay still for an extended period of time. If you move during the scans, the images may be unusable. MRIs use magnets to look for diseased cells. Each of your body’s cells has a positive and negative pole. When you go for an MRI, the magnet looks at all the normal cells in your body. Diseased cells won’t line up like their healthy counterparts. The magnet allows radiofrequency waves to create an image that doctors can use to pinpoint what is causing your pain.  When You Should Consider Getting an MRI Getting an MRI can be a critical step in correctly diagnosing your injuries. If you believe you have a spinal cord injury, neck or back injury, or if you suspect a brain injury, an MRI could help determine what is wrong and the extent of your injuries. The MRI will allow your medical providers to tailor treatment to the exact area of injury. If you have severe pain in your neck or back, or if you have a suspected head or brain injury, you need to insist on an MRI. Pain that radiates down your arm or leg suggests nerve involvement.  Your MRI results can show whether your condition requires surgical intervention. If your injuries are severe enough for surgery, you could have permanent damage if you delay having it. Injuries like nerve compression are serious. If your injured spinal disc continues to push on that nerve, the damage may be irreversible. MRIs can also boost the value of your accident claim. Insurance companies typically don’t give much weight to soft tissue injuries. That is because most of these claims are subjective, allowing the adjuster to undervalue them or dismiss them entirely. If you have an MRI that shows nerve compression or a herniated disc, it forces the insurance company to acknowledge your injuries, as there is an objective medical diagnosis. When You May Not Want to Get an MRI One of the main disadvantages of an MRI is the cost. In many cases, it will cost a thousand dollars or more. Even if you have health insurance, you could have a high co-pay. If you are successful in your auto accident injury claim, your settlement should include compensation for your medical treatment, including the MRI costs. For most people, there is no medical risk of having an MRI. However, the strong magnetic field is problematic for some people. People who have surgical implants, especially those with iron or select types of steel, could have complications. Other magnetizable objects to disclose include a pacemaker, insulin pumps, endoscopy capsules, cochlear implants, etc. People with claustrophobia have problems getting an MRI. The tube can be a snug fit, and that only adds to the anxiety for some patients. MRI techs might try coping mechanisms like having you listen to music. There are also new open MRI machines that can help those with severe claustrophobia. However, these can be even more expensive and may have much longer wait times to get an appointment. How We Will Help with Your Case Hiring an attorney is crucial if you sustained injuries in a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence. Your potential settlement value is directly linked with the experience of your Florida auto accident attorney. At Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, we’ve recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for our clients. Some of these individual settlements were in the seven-figure range.  We understand what makes a successful auto accident claim. When you retain us to represent you, we will immediately start an independent investigation. We will talk to witnesses, gather evidence, order your medical records, and more. We will handle all communications with the at-fault party’s insurance and negotiate your potential settlement.  The insurance company can’t take advantage of your inexperience with the claims process when you have an attorney representing your interests. Insurance adjusters are notorious for undervaluing claims and wrongfully denying valid ones. We will hold the responsible party accountable and ensure the insurance adjuster extends a fair settlement offer. If they don’t, we are prepared to file a lawsuit on your behalf and work to resolve your claim during litigation. To learn more about how we can help, contact Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today to schedule an initial consultation with our experienced Florida car accident attorneys. Get Your Accident Questions Answered Understandably, prospective clients have numerous questions on MRIs and auto accident injuries. We’ve compiled answers to...

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What to Do If Involved in a Car Accident While Pregnant

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Being involved in a car accident is a terrifying experience, but it can be even worse if you’re pregnant. Even a minor fender bender can put your baby at risk. Do not make a mistake and assume if you’re in a car accident and pregnant that you don’t need to seek medical treatment. If you are injured, pursuing a claim can be complicated. Consider meeting with an experienced Florida car accident attorney who can explain what to expect and help you fight for the compensation you deserve. Why a Car Accident During Pregnancy Is Serious The potential blunt force of the impact and jolting motions can cause complications in your pregnancy. There is also the emotional stress that goes along with a car accident when pregnant. That added stress could also put your baby’s health at risk, which is why it’s imperative to try to stay calm. Many women don’t wear their seat belts correctly in an accident, which can increase the risk. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has a helpful infographic that shows you the right and wrong ways to wear a seat belt. You should not wear your lap belt over the top of your belly. It should be secured below your stomach, fitting snugly across your hips and pelvic bone. Your fetus can suffer damage even in situations where there is no physical contact. For example, a sudden stop creates a jarring motion that could result in fetal injuries, such a concussion. What to Do If You’re Pregnant and in a Car Accident Even if you don’t believe you’re injured, it’s imperative to see a doctor. There could be internal injuries that you can’t see or necessarily feel. Potential symptoms to watch for include: Vaginal spotting or bleeding; Increased vaginal discharge or leaking fluids; Pain in your abdomen; Fever or chills; Severe and constant headaches; Dizziness or fainting; Increased vomiting that isn’t attributed to morning sickness; Changes to your baby’s movements, both strength and frequency; and Painful or urgent need to urinate. You should call the police after a car accident during your pregnancy. Let the police know that you are pregnant and were just involved in an accident. If there is something seriously wrong, you will have emergency responders who are equipped to handle these situations. Statistics on Pregnancy and Car Accidents Driving while pregnant carries a unique set of risks. Researchers in Canada determined that there is a 42% increased risk to a pregnant woman in a car accident starting with the second trimester. According to a study conducted by the University of Michigan, 170,000 auto accidents in the United States each year involve pregnant women. If you’re in a 16-miles-per-hour frontal crash at 28 weeks, they estimate the risk of fetal injuries is 26% for drivers wearing their seat belt and 70% for drivers who are not. On average, 2.9% of pregnant women report suffering injuries in a car accident. Safe Ride 4 Kids compiled data from multiple studies and estimates there are anywhere from 300 to 5,000 fetal deaths from car accidents every year. Risks to a Baby If You’re in a Car Accident When Pregnant If you’re in a car accident and pregnant, there are numerous risks to your baby. Possible complications include: Hemorrhaging, Internal bleeding, Pre-term labor, Miscarriage, Uterine rupture, Coup and contrecoup injuries, and Birth defects. Your womb creates crucial protection for your baby. However, it can’t prevent all injuries. One of the biggest risks of a car accident is a placental abruption. This condition occurs when the placenta separates from your uterus. It deprives your baby of necessary nutrients, which could lead to problems with growth development. How We Will Help with Your Case Hiring a Florida car accident attorney if you suffered injuries in a car accident when pregnant is imperative. You deserve someone on your side who can protect your rights and negotiate on your behalf. You should be monitoring your stress levels, not arguing with an insurance adjuster over the value of your claim. When you retain Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, we will be there for you every step of the way. Our primary goal is to help you get the compensation you deserve from the responsible party in a car accident. If someone else’s negligence resulted in harm to your unborn baby, let us help you hold them accountable. We will conduct a thorough investigation, gather all relevant evidence, and negotiate with the other driver’s insurance company. If necessary, we will also retain industry experts who can testify about liability or your injuries. We have over 30 years of experience and have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of our clients. To learn more about how we can help, contact Abrahamson & Uiterwyk to schedule an initial consultation. Get Your Car Accident Questions Answered Pursuing a claim if you’re pregnant and in a car accident can be challenging. Understandably, prospective clients have a lot of questions about how the claims process works. What Types of Compensation Are Available If You’re Pregnant and in a Car Accident? The compensation you could receive for your claim will depend on your damages. You could receive reimbursement for your current and future medical expenses, lost wages, future loss of earnings, property damages, pain and suffering, permanent disability, and more. How Much Does It Cost to Retain an Attorney? Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis. That means you won’t pay an hourly billing rate or any fees or costs up front. Should I Hire an Attorney Right After the Accident? Hiring an attorney immediately following the accident is the best course of action. The sooner you retain an attorney, the sooner we can start protecting your rights and gathering the necessary evidence to prove liability against the other party.

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Soft Tissue Injury from a Car Accident

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Injuries from a car accident can vary depending on factors such as the type of vehicles involved, the crash severity, and the location of the impact on your car. Even seemingly minor impact accidents can leave you injured.  Some of the most common injuries reported in a car accident are soft tissue. A soft tissue injury in a car accident can be serious, no matter how much the other driver’s insurance company tells you it’s not. Because insurance companies typically undervalue and downplay a soft tissue injury after a car accident, you need an experienced Florida auto accident attorney on your side. Common Ways to Suffer Soft Tissue Injuries Many prospective clients have questions, including, what is soft tissue injury in a car accident? Soft tissue injuries refer to your muscles, tendons, and ligaments, whereas your bones are hard tissue.  Soft tissue damage after a car accident is common because the sudden force can cause ligaments, muscles, and tendons to move beyond their normal range. Insurance adjusters tend to dismiss all soft tissue injuries as being minor and therefore undervalue these claims. Some of the most common soft tissue injury claims we represent clients for include:   Sprains and strains, Whiplash, Compressed nerve, Contusions, Rotator cuff tear, Hernia, and ACL tear. If you sustained soft tissue injuries in a car accident caused by another person’s negligence, you have the right to bring a claim for your damages. Don’t let an insurance adjuster tell you that you don’t have a claim because you sustained only soft tissue damage. Car accident settlements can definitely include reimbursement for your soft tissue injuries.    Symptoms of Soft Tissue Injuries Soft tissue injuries aren’t always apparent at the accident scene. Some of these develop over a couple of days. Potential symptoms to watch for after a car accident include: Back pain; Neck pain and stiffness; Skin discoloration; Inflammation in your affected body part; Pain when moving your affected body part; Swelling; Sudden onset of pain; A burning sensation that travels down your arm or leg; Inability to put weight on a joint; and Cognitive issues, including difficulty concentrating or remembering things. Some soft tissue injuries will heal on their own with minimal medical intervention. However, other injuries could require extensive rehabilitation and even surgical intervention. What to Do If You Think You Have a Soft Tissue Injury If you suspect you have a soft tissue injury, you need to schedule a medical appointment right away. It’s crucial to seek treatment following an accident, even if you don’t think you are injured. Sometimes, there could be internal injuries that you can’t visibly see or feel. It’s essential to follow all orders your doctors give you. Otherwise, you can cause additional harm, and the at-fault driver’s insurance company will use this to reduce your case value. Is There an Average Settlement for Soft Tissue Injuries? No, there is no average settlement amount for soft tissue injury claims. Every car accident is unique, as are your injuries. Someone who suffered a concussion will likely have a higher settlement than someone else who suffered only a minor back strain that healed in several weeks. What Factors Affect My Settlement? Multiple factors can affect your potential soft tissue injury car accident settlement. While most soft tissue cases resolve before a lawsuit is filed, some claims will wind up in litigation. Some of the most influential factors in a soft tissue injury case include: The severity of your injuries; The length of time it took for you to recover and whether there are long-term effects or a permanent disability; The impact of your injuries on your career; The percentage of your own negligence that contributed to the accident; , if any; The amount of pain and suffering you experienced; and Another critical factor in determining your potential settlement amount is the evidence you’ve collected. Because soft tissue injuries are often harder to prove, you must have as much evidence as possible. For example, scene photos that show the vehicle damage and surrounding area can be critical evidence. It would be best if you also kept a pain journal after the accident. It’s easier to go back and discuss how the accident impacted your life when you can recount specific episodes and problems you encountered. If your case winds up in litigation, it could be a months before you give a deposition. You can review your pain journal and refresh your memory if necessary, before testifying.    Does Hiring an Attorney Increase My Settlement Amount? In most cases, hiring an attorney will increase your potential settlement amount. Insurance companies notoriously undervalue or wrongfully deny claims when you don’t have legal representation. Having an attorney on your side is essential. That will keep the insurance company from taking advantage of your inexperience. You want someone who can protect your rights and negotiate for the maximum amount of compensation possible. How We Will Help with Your Case When you retain Abrahamson & Uiterwyk to represent you for a soft tissue injury in a car accident, we will conduct an independent investigation. We will gather all the necessary evidence, your medical records, bills, and confirmation of your missed time from work. If your case warrants it, we will retain industry experts who can testify in your case. Potential experts may include an accident reconstructionist who can testify on liability or a medical doctor who can confirm that your soft tissue injuries required the treatment you received. If your case doesn’t resolve through negotiations, we are prepared to file a lawsuit and take your case to trial if necessary. We have over 30 years of experience fighting for our clients and have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation. Let us put our trial experience and knowledge to work for you. Contact Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today to schedule an initial consultation. Get Your Accident Questions Answered Understandably, prospective clients have a lot of questions when they meet with us. Here are answers to some of the most common...

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Abrahamson & Uiterwyk Announces Their July 2020 Distracted Driving Runner Up

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Mason Ashford is one of our 2020 distracted driving essay runner ups. Mason is a student at Florida State University. Here is her essay: Admit it to Quit it Like anyone in the 21st century I am no stranger to distracted driving. Not only do I constantly see others doing it around me, I am a culprit of it myself. Most people think that distracted driving only entails directly looking at your phone while driving. But it can be so much more than that. It can include talking on the phone, texting without looking, talking with other people in the car, eating while driving etc. Distracted driving is anytime you are not one hundred percent focused on the task of driving. It only takes a split second of distraction to result in serious injury or even death. I have a fairly long drive from home in Atlanta to Florida State University. This drive by myself can get boring and I often find myself becoming a distracted driver the longer I drive. This usually comes in the form of eating while behind the wheel. It may not seem like that big of a deal, but it does require me to take one sometimes even two hands off the wheel just to eat. A lot of times I’ll get foods that can actually be quite messy and are hard to eat in general but especially while driving. This element gives just another factor of distraction to my driving. Unfortunately, I have been in a few close calls where I almost caused an accident with someone else or just with myself by riding too close to the edge of the road. These moments in time seem to slow down and they are real wake up calls for me. Anyone who has ever been in an accident or close to being in one understands the terror that runs through you. My biggest change to this bad habit will be strategizing my drive to include time to STOP and eat. If I plan for an extra 15 to 20 minutes into my drive to stop somewhere and eat in the parking lot, I am not losing time on my ETA and I am keeping myself and others on the road safe. I think I often get stuck in the mindset that I need to get to my destination as quick as possible. This can be a very dangerous mindset while driving a two-ton vehicle. This means eating while driving because I think it might save me an extra 15 minutes. In reality saving those 15 minutes is not worth risking my life or the lives around me. Another way I often find myself being a distracted driver is when I am driving my friends in the car. We often like to play our favorite songs at a loud volume and sing our hearts out. In the moment it can be a lot of fun to do that with my friends and it almost feels freeing. But it also means that I am focusing on the lyrics in the song and having fun more than I am about driving a car. It is way too easy to get lost in the fun of the moment and not realize the reality of what is happening in front of you. I am in the marching band at FSU so for me music is and always has been an important aspect of my life. I like the way music makes me feel and I like sharing music with my friends. Given the nature of Bluetooth and AUX the sharing of this music is often done during car rides. I would be lying if I said I had not typed out a song I desperately wanted my friends to listen to while I drive. The way I would solve the first issue is to just turn the music down so that I am still able to easily focus on the drive. If anyone complains and wants to turn the music up I just have to be firm and say “I am the driver, I decide how loud the music gets to be played so that I can keep us safe”. To solve the second issue is far simpler. If there is a song I want to share with friends I can either put it in the queue before I start driving or I can tell my friend the name of the song so that they can type it for me. There is no need for me to be touching the phone at all in this situation. These situations are even more important to me than when I am in the car alone. The reason being is my friends mean everything to me and I would never want to be the cause of their hurt or death. Whether I like it or not, when I am behind the wheel, I am responsible for everyone in that car. I must be safe for them. The older I get the more I seem to drive and the longer the drives tend to me. I also tend to think less about my driving the more I drive. I think this is very common. You almost get to a point where you are too comfortable behind the wheel and you forget just how dangerous driving by itself is. So why make it even more dangerous by being a distracted driver?

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Abrahamson & Uiterwyk Announces Their July 2020 Distracted Driving Essay Winner

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Christopher Francis is our 2020 distracted driving essay winner. Christopher is a student at the Seminole State College of Florida. Here is the winning essay: My Friends Could Be the End of Me As a 20-year-old black man in college, I deal with multiple pressures in life. I must deal with pressures such as: going to school full time, doing internships, being financially intelligent, taking care of my parents, taking care of the house, being recognized and taken seriously by American society, and other things in life that young adults might have to deal with. However, because I take life seriously and try to be the best version of myself when it comes to school and other priorities, I make sure to make time for my friends (whom I love sincerely). Even though I take life seriously in other areas, I realize that I do not take my life as serious when it comes to me putting my friends before myself, especially when I drive. Therefore, my friends are a huge distraction when I am a driver. When I first got my driver’s license as a junior in high school, my parents knew that the biggest fear that they had with me driving was me going out and driving with my friends. I was the first person in my friend group with a license and a vehicle, so that meant that I would be everyone’s very own free personal Uber. When I first got my vehicle (which was a hand-me-down 2004 Dodge Ram pickup truck), I did not think about gas or other limitations, I just wanted my freedom and ability to go places with my friends. Because my parents knew how much I could not wait to do stupid stuff with my friends, they first enrolled me into a “Defensive Driving” class so that I could understand the seriousness of driving and how to be an aware, safe driver. So, I took the class and had to deal with scenarios on what it feels like to drive drunk, spin out of control, must make an emergency stop, deal with an obnoxious passenger, and other things, and I passed easily. My parents were happy with how serious I took the driving test, so they set me loose and I was out driving on my own. Even though I passed that driving course, I still was unprepared to drive with my friends. My first guilty habit is using my phone while driving. Rather it is being on a phone call, texting, snapchatting, or facetiming, whenever my friends needed me to use my phone while driving, I would readily pick it up and use it while I am on the road. I would feel like I got the hang of driving and that it would get boring by only staring at the road the whole time, so I needed my phone to spice things up. My second guilty habit is that when I am in the car with my friends, we tend to blast loud music and just be focused in our conversation rather than the road. My friends are fun people to be around, so we like to bang loud music or talk loud and sometimes it is hard to hear stuff around us or it can be hard for me to just focus on driving in general. Lastly, I have had experiences with friends in which I was the driver, but they got drunk and I ended up having to be the Uber and babysitter at the same time. One thing I will never do is drink and drive, so I am usually always the designated driver if me and my friends go to a party, but that tends to also mean that I have to get them home safely and make sure they are fine during the car ride, even when they are throwing up all over the place or are just being really obnoxious. I realized that I would endure anything with my friends, but them being a distraction while driving is not something to take likely. I have heard of many sad stories in which young drivers have died from distracted driving from bad habits that I have done myself but am lucky enough to be able to recognize and fix. Throughout the years, I have put my phone on “Do Not Disturb” mode while I drive, I rarely blast my music at all in my car, and I go to less parties so that I do not have to deal with distracting, drunk passengers, which are strategies that I have enjoyed and have enabled me to become a safer driver. I love my friends to death, but I never would want them to be the death of me, so I have tried to put an end to my distracted driving habits and hope to influence others to do the same!

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What to Do After a Slip and Fall in a Parking Lot

Category: Articles & FAQ |

This article attempts to explain what to do if you suffered a slip and fall in a parking lot. The aftermath of a slip and fall accident can be a painful and emotional experience. While a slip and fall itself can occur in seconds, the effects can be lasting. A slip and fall accident can occur anywhere at any time, but parking lots are one of the most common locations where slip and fall accidents occur.  So, what do you do if you or a loved one has been involved in a slip and fall in a parking lot? The good news is that you have rights, and there are ways for you to recover.  The slip and fall attorneys at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk have the knowledge and experience necessary to fight for your rights. We are here to help you navigate the process and get through this difficult time, so contact us today to discuss your case and see what we can do for you. Parking Lot Slip and Falls: An Overview If you slip and fall in a parking lot, a lawsuit might become necessary. But before even getting to the point of filing your lawsuit, there are certain steps you should take. Important Steps to Take After a Slip and Fall in a Parking Lot If you have never sustained injuries in a slip and fall accident before, you may not know how to move forward. However, knowing what steps to take after you slip and fall in a parking lot can be crucial to your recovery.  In fact, failure to take proper actions after your accident can sometimes diminish your rights and ability to recover moving forward. Below are three important steps you should always take after your slip and fall accident. Step 1: Seek Prompt Medical Attention The first and often most important step after any slip and fall accident is to seek immediate medical attention. Your well-being is the main priority, and diagnosis can be crucial. Failure to promptly diagnose and treat any injuries that may exist can lead to even greater harm and can lengthen your recovery process. Even if you don’t feel or notice any injuries immediately after your fall, it is still imperative that you visit a medical professional to confirm that no injuries exist. Often, injury victims will not notice any physical pain due to adrenaline after their accident. Thus, you should always seek medical attention as soon as practicable.  Step 2: Collect Evidence at the Scene As long as you are not too injured to do so, you should try to collect as much information as possible at the scene of the accident. Sometimes, some of the best evidence will be available right at the scene of the accident.  A simple way to do this is to take photographs on with your phone. Take photographs of the exact accident location, the surrounding area, your injuries, damage to any of your personal items, and anything else you think may be related to your fall or injury.  Other information you may be able to gather at the scene might include: The address of the location in which you fell; Contact information for any representatives of the business whose parking lot you fell; and  Contact information and statements from any people who may have witnessed your accident.  The more evidence and information you have regarding your slip and fall accident, the easier it will be to prove your case. Thus, always try to gather as much information as you can. Step 3: Contact a Slip and Fall Injury Attorney After seeking treatment for any possible injuries, you should reach out to an attorney to discuss your case. Most attorneys will offer a free case evaluation, so it is almost always in your best interest to at least have an initial consultation.  Having an experienced injury attorney in your corner can be a great asset to your slip and fall parking lot lawsuit.  Accident victims who don’t understand the legal process will frequently make small, avoidable mistakes that have the potential to limit their recovery. But attorneys who practice personal injury cases for a living have an in-depth understanding of the law. Thus, attorneys can help you avoid those mistakes and ultimately fight to maximize your recovery.  How Will We Help with Your Case? Abrahamson & Uiterwyk is an experienced personal injury law firm well-equipped to handle your slip and fall case. We have been helping injury victims for over 30 years, and we hope we can do the same for you.  Our slip and fall attorneys will provide you with an initial assessment of your case. Further, we will conduct a thorough investigation to determine what compensation you may be entitled to. We will aggressively negotiate with insurance companies and opposing parties to fight for your rights. And lastly, we will never be afraid to take your case to trial if that is what your case requires.  Abrahamson & Uiterwyk’s slip and fall attorneys have represented over 20,000 injury victims throughout Florida. Our team of attorneys will fight aggressively for your rights and do everything we can to help you get the compensation you need to recover. Contact us today to get started, set up your free case review, and see what our firm can do for you.  Get Your Slip and Fall Questions Answered We know how difficult this time must be for you. That’s why we’ve answered some frequently asked questions to help you get the answers you need.   How Much Will It Cost to Hire an Attorney? At Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, we offer a no-fee guarantee. We do this to lessen the financial burden on clients who need representation. This means that when you hire us, you will not pay any legal fees or costs unless and until we win your case.  Is There an Average Slip and Fall Accident Settlement? No, there is no “average” settlement for a Florida slip and fall accident settlement. However, there are certain...

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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...

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