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Boca Raton Personal Injury and Accident FAQs

Below are some of the most common initial questions our clients have about their personal injury or accident cases. You can use the quick links below to jump to individual categories or search for specific questions in the search box.

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Car Accidents and Injuries (7)

Regardless of what causes a car accident or how severe the damage to the vehicles, drivers and passengers can suffer an array of bodily and emotional injuries. While some car accident victims are lucky enough to escape with only minor aches and pains, others sustain life-altering injuries.

These are the 4 most common types of car accident injuries we see in Florida car accident victims.

1. Neck and Back Injuries

The rapid deceleration caused when two cars collide can wreak havoc on the bodies of drivers and passengers. One of the most common injuries sustained is whiplash. The sudden and violent jerking movements can damage vertebrae, ligaments, or discs. Minor whiplash can simply cause neck pain and stiffness, but more severe cases can lead to longer-term effects such as blurred vision, headaches, memory problems, and depression.

Neck and back injuries are much more common in read-end collisions.

2. Head and Brain Injuries

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and concussions are some of the most serious and overlooked car accident injuries. Concussions are caused by the head smashing against a part of the vehicle itself such as the airbag, headrest, or steering wheel. The short-term effects of TBIs include nausea and vomiting, numbness, or blurred vision. But TBI can cause long-term damage as well such as chronic headaches, depression, behavioral changes, and seizures. While TBI symptoms may occur immediately, they could also take days to manifest. Therefore, we recommend that anyone who has had head trauma in a car accident should seek medical attention immediately to assess the damage. Medical treatment for brain injuries is complicated and costly, it is critical to have secure records to detail the impact of the injury on your life and wellbeing.

Head-on collisions are particularly likely to cause brain and head trauma.

3. Bone Fractures and Tissue Damage

The sheer force involved in a high-speed collision is enough to fracture bones and tear muscles and ligaments. Simple bone fractures can take months to heal and result in lost wages. Multiple or complex fractures, muscle tears, and ligament damage often require surgery and extensive physical therapy, which will be a more significant financial burden on you and your family.

Your chances of suffering serious bone fractures or ligament damage increase significantly in head-on collisions, sideswipe or “T-bone” crashes, and in high-speed accidents.

4. Psychological and Emotional Injuries

Unless you have suffered a serious car accident before, you may not fully appreciate the range of psychological and emotional effects such an experience can have on a person, especially children and young adults. In fact, a recent meta-analysis of previous studies concluded that over 22% of car crash survivors develop posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These psychological harms won’t be immediately obvious like cuts or fractures; they may take days or weeks to manifest. And you can be sure the insurance company or at-fault driver will fight tooth and nail to avoid paying for such damages.

Any type or severity of car accident can psychologically scar a victim.

Get Help and Start to Recover

If you have suffered any of these four common car accident injuries or some other injury in your car accident, you need to seek out an experienced Florida accident and injury attorney who will guide you through the claims process.

The personal injury lawyers here at Personal Injury & Accident Law Center would love to speak to you about your case and tell you how we can help you get on the path to recovery. Call us today at (561)372-3800 to schedule a free case evaluation.

If you or a family member have been injured in a car accident that was caused by a negligent driver, Florida law states that you may be able to seek financial compensation from the at-fault party. However, an injured party must file a personal injury lawsuit within a specific time frame or their right to file the injury claim “expires.”

These expiration dates are known as “statutes of limitations,” and it’s critical that you be aware of what time limitations apply to your particular case and take the right steps at the right time to successfully recover the compensation you deserve. Failing to file your lawsuit on time could result in your injury claim being rejected by a judge, regardless of the proof you have.

In general, the Florida statute of limitations for car, truck, and motorcycle accident cases is four years from the date of the accident. However, wrongful death plaintiffs only have two years to file a lawsuit in Florida, including accidental deaths due to car, truck, and motorcycle crashes. Because the stakes are so high, it is always in your best interest to speak to a qualified personal injury and accident lawyer as soon as possible.

Your window to get compensated for your losses is closing. Call us at (561)372-3800 to schedule a free consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys.

Yes. You have nothing to lose by seeing a doctor after a car accident and everything to gain.

Health Risks

First, one of the biggest mistakes car accident victims make after an accident is self-diagnosing headaches, blurred vision, and other problems as stress induced. Dealing with insurance companies, police reports, and car repairs is enough to make anyone feel run down, but sometimes these various aches and pains are signs of more serious injuries. You could have a traumatic brain injury, spinal injury, or even internal bleeding that self-diagnosis will miss.

Legal Risks

Second, from a legal standpoint, Florida has specific laws that govern how long car accident victims have to seek medical care after an accident, if those injuries are to be covered by an insurance policy.

Under Florida’s personal injury protection (PIP) law (Florida Statute 627.736), you have 14 days to see a doctor after an accident if you want to receive compensation for your medical expenses or other damages. If you do not get medical treatment for your car accident injuries within the 14-day window, the insurance company may deny your accident claim.

Additionally, if you plan on filing a lawsuit against the at-fault driver in the accident, medical records detailing your injuries, diagnosis, treatment regimen, and medical costs will act as some of the most important forms of evidence in your injury case. All of this will have a significant impact on your ability to collect compensation.

Once you’ve seen a medical professional about your car accident injuries, you should contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss the next steps. Seeking legal representation for personal injury claims can help ensure you recover the maximum amount of compensation.

The Personal Injury & Accident Law Center offers free case evaluations for car accident victims so you can feel confident that you’re getting the legal counsel you deserve. You can call us at (561)372-3800 or fill out the confidential form below to speak a team member about your car accident case.

In July 2019, Florida passed The Wireless Communications While Driving Law (Florida Statutes 316.305), which made texting while driving a primary traffic offense. This new law allows law enforcement officers to pull over and ticket drivers specifically for texting while behind the wheel. Previously, drivers could only be ticketed for texting if they were pulled over for another violation first, e.g. speeding.

The primary reason for the new law is combat distracted driving. In fact, a 2016 study ranked Florida as the second worst state for distracted driving. That same year distracted drivers in Florida caused nearly 50,000 accidents, 233 of which resulted in death.

Because texting requires visual, manual, and cognitive distraction, reducing such distractions will:

  • Increase the safety of all drivers, passengers, bicyclists, pedestrians, and other people using the roads.
  • Decrease the injuries, deaths, property damage, medical costs, and insurance rate increases that result from car and truck accidents.

The new law specifically prohibits operating a motor vehicle while “manually typing or entering multiple letters, numbers, symbols or other characters into a wireless communications device.” So, “texting” includes email, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media apps.

However, the new law does not apply in two important situations. First, devices used for navigation are exempt from the law, both smartphones and built-in navigation systems. Second, drivers are allowed to text while vehicles are “stationary,” which includes being stopped red lights or stop signs.

If you’ve been in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, it is still a sensible move to hire a personal injury lawyer to handle your case. A personal injury attorney can benefit you by proving that you bear a smaller percentage of fault and deserve a larger percentage of compensation. You can call us at (561)372-3800 or fill out the confidential form below to speak a team member about your car accident case.

In July 2019, Florida passed The Wireless Communications While Driving Law (Florida Statutes 316.305), which made “texting” (e.g. text messaging, emails, and social media apps) while driving a primary traffic offense.

Not only will having fewer distracted drivers make Florida’s roads safer for everyone, but the new texting and driving law will also affect negligence and liability assignments in car and motor vehicle accident claims.

Florida’s Comparative Liability Standard

In some cases, determining driver fault and negligence is clear-cut. But more often, it isn’t so simple. Drivers should know that Florida operates according to the principle of comparative liability. Under the comparative liability system, both parties in the accident essentially share fault. For example, if one driver makes an aggressive left turn in front of an oncoming driver who was speeding, there will be a discussion of what percentage of the fault to assign to each driver. These percentages of fault will directly determine the amount of damages recoverable by each party.

As such, shifting the liability onto the other driver is important to increase the amount of compensation you can recover. To do that, though, you must prove the defendant acted in a negligent manner. A personal injury attorney can benefit you by marshalling facts to prove that you bear a smaller percentage of fault (i.e. less comparative liability) and deserve a larger percentage of compensation.

Proof of Negligence

In particular, the new texting and driving law includes a provision (F.S. §316.305(3)(d)) stating that cell phone billing records can be used as evidence to show that the driver violated the new law in the event of an accident that results in death or personal injury. This provides your personal injury lawyer with another tool to prove the other party’s liability in your car accident case.

Navigating the Florida liability laws and assigning negligence in a car accident can be tricky. Hiring a personal injury lawyer to handle your case is a sensible move because they are experienced in negotiating with insurance companies and—importantly—in building legal cases.

The Personal Injury & Accident Law Center offers free case evaluations for car accident victims so you can feel confident that you’re getting the legal counsel you deserve. You can call us at (561)372-3800 or fill out the confidential form below to speak a team member about your car accident case.

Most car accidents are not “accidents.” Instead they are caused by a range of factors often attributable to another driver’s negligence. If you’ve been in a car accident in Florida, it was likely caused by one of these 6 factors.

1. Distracted Driving

Distractions come in three types: visual, manual, and cognitive, which means distracted driving is anything that takes your hands off the wheel, eyes off the road, or mind off driving. Drivers who are texting or talking on cell phones, adjusting the radio, eating and drinking, putting on makeup, or interacting with other passengers can he held liable for damages caused by their negligent behavior. Even at 50 mph, a focused driver will need roughly the length of a football field to come to a complete stop.

2. Aggressive Driving

Aggressive drivers make the roads less safe for everyone by their risky behavior. You can identify aggressive drivers by their excessive speeding, tailgating, quick and unannounced lane changes, “rolling stops,” or just general disregard for the rules of road and the other drivers. This dangerous driving style, together with even minor distractions, can cause tragic accidents.

3. Drunk or Impaired Driving

Drunk driving is one of the top causes of road fatalities in Florida and it is entirely avoidable. On top of that, there is a growing threat posed by drivers who are impaired by drugs and prescription medications. In fact, traffic stops for impaired driving have outpaced DUI stops recently. Impaired drivers can be on the road at any hour of the day since many drivers who are pulled over taking doctor-prescribed medications. However, these drivers are no less dangerous than someone who has been drinking.

Drunk or impaired driving accounts for a disproportionate number of fatalities each year. In 2019, Florida had:

  • 379 impaired driving crashes
  • 307 impaired driving fatalities

That is an 81% fatality rate!

4. Hazardous Roads

Occasionally, car accidents are caused by unsafe conditions of the roads themselves. Potholes and uneven pavement, poorly designed shoulders or exits, or improperly maintained road safety measures can all contribute to car crashes. In these instances, state and local government entities, property management companies, and private businesses can sometimes be held liable for the damages.

5. Weather Conditions

Anyone who lives in the “Sunshine” state knows that the sky can go from clear and blue to grey and rainy at the drop of a hat, especially during hurricane season. When sudden downpours or more violent storms pass through, they create acutely hazardous road conditions. High winds and rain can decrease visibility and control and increase the likelihood of a car accident, especially on crowded highways and interstates.

6. Improper Vehicle Maintenance

Regular oil changes help keep a car’s engine running smoothly. The same is true of other critical components of a car’s mechanical skeleton. Florida does not have state-required car safety inspections, but cars need regular maintenance to ensure they work properly and can be driven safely. If drivers choose to drive with bad brakes, worn down tire treads, or poor windshield wipers, they can be held liable for accidents caused by their failure to maintain a car’s essential safety measures.

Get Help and Start to Recover

Whether your car accident was caused by one of these common factors or something else, you need to seek out an experienced Florida car accident and injury lawyer who will guide you through the claims process.

The personal injury lawyers here at Personal Injury & Accident Law Center would love to speak to you about your case and tell you how we can help you get on the path to recovery. Call us today at (561)372-3800 to schedule a free case evaluation or fill out the confidential form below.

Unfortunately, if you drive with any regularity, it’s a near statistical certainty that you will be in a car accident at some point. With over 1,000 car crashes taking place on Florida roads every day, drivers should know these five critical Florida car accident laws.

1. Report Car Accidents with Over $500 in Damages 

Any driver involved in a car or motor vehicle collision is required by law to stop at the scene of the accident. More importantly, Florida law (§316.065, F.S.) also requires drivers to report the accident to law enforcement if injuries or damages “appear to exceed” $500. If anyone is injured, you have to stay at the scene of the accident, and you must also exchange information (e.g. name, address, vehicle registration) with all parties involved.

2. Florida Is a No-Fault Insurance State

As one of only a handful of “no-fault” insurance states in the county, Florida law requires drivers who have been in an accident to turn first to their own insurance plans to pay for their repairs and recovery costs—regardless of who is responsible for the accident! These “no-fault” insurance plans are also referred to as Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and Property Damage Liability (PDL) coverage. If an accident causes more damage or injuries than a driver’s insurance policy covers, a personal injury lawsuit can be filed to seek additional damages.

3. $10k Minimums for PIP and PDL

Before registering a vehicle, Florida law requires all drivers to show proof of an auto insurance policy with a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) coverage and $10,000 in property damage liability (PDL) coverage. Again, should a car accident occur, each person would turn to their individual PIP coverage first. PIP coverage pays:

  • 80% of crash-related medical bills up to the policy limit,
  • 60% of lost wages if the injured person cannot work,
  • $5,000 in death benefits, in addition to the benefits provided under the policy.

To further complicate matters, if you do not have an “emergency medical condition,” PIP will not pay out more than $2,500 in benefits.

4. Pure Comparative Liability Principle

There is no hard and fast way by which is asssign fault in a car accident. In fact, each state has its own laws regarding how liability is assessed and determined.

Florida operates according to the principle of “pure comparative fault” for assigning responsibility in an accident. Under this system, both parties in the accident essentially share fault or liability. For example, if one driver makes an aggressive left turn in front of an oncoming driver who was speeding, there will be a discussion of what percentage of the fault to assign to each driver. These percentages of liability will then directly determine the amount of damages recoverable by each party.

5. Four-Year Statute of Limitations

If you are injured by a negligent driver, you are allowed by Florida law to file a personal injury lawsuit to seek damages. However, such personal injury claims must be filed within a specific time frame. In general, the Florida statute of limitations for car, truck, and motorcycle accident cases is four years from the date of the accident. However, the statute of limitations for seeking medical attention is only fourteen days. And PIP will not cover any medical bills if you do not seek treatment within 14 days of the accident.

Get Help and Start to Recover

If you’ve been injured in a car accident in South Florida, you need to seek out an experienced Florida car accident and injury lawyer who will guide you through the claims process.

The personal injury lawyers here at Personal Injury & Accident Law Center would love to speak to you about your case and tell you how we can help you get on the path to recovery. Call us today at (561)372-3800 to schedule a free case evaluation or fill out the confidential form below.

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Commercial Truck Accidents (5)

Even though we use the term “accident,” most truck crashes aren’t accidents at all. Rather, driver negligence, equipment malfunction, environmental factors, or a mix of all of three directly cause the accident. Some of the most common causes of truck accidents in Florida are:

Driver Error

“Driver error” is an umbrella term we use to refer to a broad category of actions that are under the direct control of the truck driver. Driver error is the leading causing of truck accidents, including:

  • Violations of FMCSA regulations
  • Distracted driving
  • Tired or fatigued driving
  • Driving under the influence
  • Aggressive driving
  • Speeding

Equipment Malfunctions

Occasionally the truck or trailer or other mechanical parts will fail and cause a wreck. These instances may not be attributable directly to driver error, but various parties can still he held negligent for:

  • Manufacturing defects
  • Improper truck maintenance
  • Overloading cargo
  • Improperly securing or loading cargo

Regardless of the root cause, truck accidents can wreak terrible destruction. Because of their size and their cargo, a semi-truck can cause serious damage on a crowded highway all by itself.

Major Accidents

Both driver error and the different types of equipment malfunction can lead to huge and disastrous accidents. When trailers or cargo systems fail, nearby cars can get swept away by a jackknifing semi-truck or demolished by falling cargo. Inattentive or inexperienced truck drivers might lose control of their truck or take a curve too sharply and cause a rollover.

Get Help and Start to Recover

If you’ve been injured in a truck accident in South Florida, you need to seek out an experienced Florida truck accident and injury lawyer who will guide you through the claims process.

The personal injury lawyers here at Personal Injury & Accident Law Center would love to speak to you about your case and tell you how we can help you get on the path to recovery. Call us today at (561)372-3800 to schedule a free case evaluation or fill out the confidential form below.

Whether the truck accident is caused by driver error, mechanical failure, or a mix of factors, the resulting truck accidents tend to share common characteristics. These six frequent types of truck accidents that we see on the roads in South Florida.

Jackknifed Trailer

A cab and trailer bed of a semi-truck are attached by a device called a “coupling.” When the coupling fails or when the trailer gets thrown off balance, the trailer can swing out perpendicular to the bed, much like a folding jackknife. Obviously, with so much mass waiving around behind the cab, it is nearly impossible to control the truck. A jackknifing trailer bed can crash into cars in adjacent lanes and cause widespread damage and injuries.

Runaway Truck

A 40-ton semi-truck moving at 60–70 mph has a lot of momentum. Mechanical failure or driver inexperience may cause a loss of the ability to slow down or stop. In these instances, the truck’s momentum will carry it down the road demolishing anything in its path. Runaway trucks are more common in mountainous terrain, but they can also happen on even ground, especially if there are weather hazards such as heavy rains, sand, or rocks.

Semi-Truck Rollovers

Semi-trucks have high centers of gravity, which makes them prone to tipping over if drivers take turns or curves at too high a speed. High winds, over corrections, and evasive maneuvers can also lead to rollovers. When a large semi-truck rolls over, any car near it will be smashed, and it is likely to cause blockades in the road that could lead to multi-car crashes.

Override

A rear-end collision with two cars may only be a minor fender-bender, but this is not the case with large commercial trucks. When a semi-truck rear-ends a smaller car, the truck may actually drive onto the back of the car. In the worst cases, the truck will crush the rear seats, which is usually deadly for any passengers.

Underride

An underride is the reverse of an underride and is when a car crashes into the back of a truck. In such cases, the front ends of smaller vehicles can become wedged underneath the truck’s rear wheels, often killing drivers and front-seat passengers.

Cargo Spills

Commercial vehicles don’t even need to crash into other cars to cause damage. Often tractor trailers and semi-trucks carry cargo that is as large as the other cars on the road (or the cargo might be actual cars!). If cargo is improperly secured or overloaded, it can fall off of the trailer during transit and cause massive devastation on the road.

Get Help and Start to Recover

If you’ve been injured in a truck accident in South Florida, you need to seek out an experienced Florida truck accident and injury lawyer who will guide you through the claims process.

The personal injury lawyers here at Personal Injury & Accident Law Center would love to speak to you about your case and tell you how we can help you get on the path to recovery. Call us today at (561)372-3800 to schedule a free case evaluation or fill out the confidential form below.

When Michael runs into Meredith with his car, Michael is at fault and Meredith will bring a personal injury lawsuit against him. But if Michael is driving a semi-truck when he hits Meredith’s car, the number of different parties potentially responsible for Meredith’s injuries multiplies.

Because each of these parties must be identified, commercial truck accidents are more complicated to pursue than car accidents. To take a simple case, the truck and trailer components of a semi-truck are often owned separately and by corporate entities, not individuals. This results in potentially two separate companies being responsible for your injuries.

Furthermore, you must sue the corporate entities themselves, not someone at the company, and figuring out who and what company or corporation to sue can sometimes be difficult, especially if the trucking company is a nationwide company.

Get Help and Start to Recover

If you’ve been injured in a truck accident in South Florida, you need to seek out an experienced Florida truck accident and injury lawyer who will guide you through the claims process.

The personal injury lawyers here at Personal Injury & Accident Law Center would love to speak to you about your case and tell you how we can help you get on the path to recovery. Call us today at (561)372-3800 to schedule a free case evaluation or fill out the confidential form below.

Who Is at Fault?

Determining fault and liability in a car accident is relatively simple. If Dwight rear-ended Andy, Dwight is probably at fault.

Depending on the type of truck accident and the cause of the accident, liability for a commercial truck accident could include the driver’s employer, the trucking company, the truck manufacturer, third-party contractors, and the insurance companies who insure each of the aforementioned. Determining and identifying which parties have liability in the situation is key because each of these entities will likely carry separate insurance policies that could potentially all pay out separate amounts. Plus, each of these entities or parties will have to be named separately in the lawsuit.

Commercial Vehicle Regulations

In addition, there are national safety regulations that govern trucks and truck drivers, which may impact the various parties’ culpability and liability for your accident. Some of the most common FMCSA violations include:

  • Failure to properly secure a load or overloading a truck
  • Failure to keep required trip logs
  • Driving while fatigued or not taking required breaks

Florida has adopted most of these commercial vehicle safety regulations (F.S. §316.302) as well. This means there are legal nuances at play in a truck accident that make it more important that you hire an experienced personal injury lawyer to handle your case who knows these rules and regulations.

Get Help and Start to Recover

If you’ve been injured in a truck accident in South Florida, you need to seek out an experienced Florida truck accident and injury lawyer who will guide you through the claims process.

The personal injury lawyers here at Personal Injury & Accident Law Center would love to speak to you about your case and tell you how we can help you get on the path to recovery. Call us today at (561)372-3800 to schedule a free case evaluation or fill out the confidential form below.

Despite what you might think based on most lawyer advertisements and billboards, it’s difficult to give exact figures for how much a truck accident victim can recover in damages because each victim’s losses and damages are different and will be determined by the facts of the case.

The better question to ask is “what types of damages can I recover?” The answer to this question is that you have the right to sue the at-fault parties for economic (“special”) and non-economic (“general”) damages. Punitive damages could also be on the table in extreme cases, but you should talk to a lawyer to discuss that option.

Economic or Special Damages

Economic damages (also called “special damages”) are an injured party’s compensation for the out-of-pocket expenses related to the injuries that were sustained in the trucking accident. Economic damages may include:

Medical Expenses

As long as you have seen a doctor within the required 14-day window, the medical expenses from emergency room visits, hospitalizations, surgeries, physical therapy, prescription medications, etc. are recoverable damages.

Lost Wages

Fewer working hours means lost wages. Certain injuries can prevent these employees from returning to work while they are recovering. In this case, future lost wages may also be recoverable.

Property Damage

Your vehicle is likely to sustain heavy damage in a truck accident. Items on or in your vehicle can also be damaged, such as laptops, bicycles (on racks), or cell phones.

Funeral Expenses

Funeral expenses may be covered if someone dies as a result of the accident. However, this requires a personal representative to bring a wrongful death lawsuit on the deceased’s behalf.

Non-Economic or General Damages

Non-economic damages are also known as “general damages.” It is a fuzzy category with hard-to-quantify dollar amounts. They often include future harms or injuries that lack specific dollar values.

Loss of Capacity of Earn

A truck accident injury may result in a long-term absence from work or even a permanent inability to work or to return to a current job. Accident victims can be compensated for this loss of future earnings.

Loss of Consortium

Loss of Consortium damages are recoverable when an injured party can no longer provide the same love, affection, companionship, parenting, care, or sexual relationship due to their injuries.

Pain and Suffering

Pain and suffering and emotional stress damages are usually the most highly compensated. A permanent injury of some sort is required to claim pain and suffering damages.

Get Help and Start to Recover

If you’ve been injured in a truck accident in South Florida, you need to seek out an experienced Florida truck accident and injury lawyer who will guide you through the claims process.

The personal injury lawyers here at Personal Injury & Accident Law Center would love to speak to you about your case and tell you how we can help you get on the path to recovery. Call us today at (561)372-3800 to schedule a free case evaluation or fill out the confidential form below.

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Personal Injury Law (1)

Attorneys have the option to use three primary fee arrangements: hourly rate, fixed fee, and contingency fee. The first two fee arrangements require the client to pay money to the attorney either up front (fixed fee) or on an ongoing basis (hourly rate).

Most personal injury attorneys, however, including the Personal Injury & Accident Law Center, exclusively bill on a contingency fee basis. Basically, this means that our clients are not charged attorneys’ fees unless they recover money—either from a settlement, judgment, or jury verdict. The contingency fee arrangement benefits injured clients by removing the financial barrier to bringing a personal injury lawsuit, which could disincentivize some seriously injured parties from seeking the legal help and monetary recovery they deserve.

Contingency Fee Amounts

The Florida Bar Rules of Professional Conduct has policies limiting the size and scope of contingency fees. That being said, the contingency fees charged by most personal injury lawyers are:

  • 33.3% for cases that settle before a lawsuit is filed
  • 40% for cases after a lawsuit is filed.

Because attorneys’ fees are contingent on your recovery, your personal injury lawyer has a tremendous incentive to work hard on your case and obtain a favorable settlement or jury verdict. Costs may still be owed, however, which could include filing fees, court costs, and administrative expenses that were incurred.

If 30–40% seems high, remember that you will not be involved in the majority of the work required to investigate, prepare, negotiate, and manage your case. According to a 2013 study by the Court Statistics Project, attorneys devoted 196 hours to an average car accident case and 472 hours to an average professional malpractice case. (If lawyers were to charge an hourly billing rate, let’s say $300, that 196 hours would cost a client $58,000!)

This is why we offer free case evaluations to potential clients. It’s essential that we review the general aspects of your case and discuss your legal options up front.

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Slip and Fall Accidents (2)

The data sources will necessarily vary slightly, but CDC data show that in 2018, 

  • Over $3.9 billion was spent on medical costs (in Florida alone) related to fall injuries.
  • U.S. families spent $754 million on fall-related deaths.

At the individual level, but picture is no rosier. The total cost to a person to recover from a slip and fall injury will be a mix of the medical costs, the lost wages and time off of work, and the reduced quality of life.

The most recent data available from the CDC estimate that $40,000 is the average cost of a hospitalization to treat a slip and fall injury. On top of that, victims saw lost work costs of $56,000 on average (in 2010-dollars). Based on the CDC estimates, a slip and fall accident could easily cost you around $100,000!

Critically, these estimates do not include the third variable: quality of life. If you lost the ability to coach your son’s little league team or couldn’t care for your aging parent, your life would be negatively impacted, but there wouldn’t be an easily assignable price tag.

Did You Slip and Fall?

If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident, you should learn more about how we can help you recover from your injuries.

Certain accident types naturally lead to certain types of injuries. Slip and fall accidents are no different. When we have clients that have been injured in a slip and fall accident, we tend to have one or more of the follow injuries:

  • Broken wrists or arms, sprained or broken ankles, or fractured pelvises and hips. In fact, for elderly persons, over 95% of hip fractures are caused by falling. The angle of the fall and our reflexive movements to stop our fall tend to make these injuries more likely.
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBI). Falls are the most common cause of brain injuries and concussions. Brain trauma is very serious and can cause long-term damage such as chronic headaches, depression, behavioral changes, and seizures.
  • Emotional Trauma. Especially for the elderly, slip and fall victims, even if they’re not seriously injured, become afraid of falling. This fear may cause a person to cut down on their everyday activities. When a person is less active, they become weaker and this increases their chances of falling.

 

Did You Slip and Fall?

If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall, you can learn more about how we can help you recover compensation and get on the path to a full recovery.

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Pedestrian Accidents (3)

Often, the statutes that govern pedestrians laws get referred to colloquially as “Right of Way” laws. However, Florida’s pedestrian laws cover a wider array of topics and situations than just crossing the street. 

The general thrust of this group of laws is that pedestrians have the right of way when crossing a street, provided that they are crossing inside a crosswalk. However, Section 316.130, Florida Statutes, details a more fulsome set of rules that pedestrians must follow. Here are some of the key provisions:

  • Where sidewalks are provided, pedestrians must not walk on the portion of a road paved for vehicle traffic,
  • Where sidewalks are not provided, pedestrians must only walk on the left shoulder of the road (i.e. against the flow of traffic),
  • Pedestrians must not stand in the road to solicit a ride, employment, or business from the occupant of any vehicle,
  • Pedestrians must not suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle whose driver cannot yield,
  • At intersections and crosswalks, drivers must stop and must remain stopped to let a pedestrian who is at least halfway across the road pass,
  • When there are no traffic control signals, drivers must yield right-of-way or stop to allow a pedestrian who is at least halfway across the road to pass,
  • Whenever a vehicle is stopped at a marked crosswalk to permit a pedestrian to cross, no driver can pass the stopped vehicle,
  • Between adjacent intersections with traffic control signals, pedestrians must not cross at any place except the marked crosswalk.
  • Every pedestrian crossing a road outside a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway,
  • Pedestrians must cross the road at 90-degree angles to the opposite curb.
  • Pedestrians shall move, whenever practicable, upon the right half of crosswalks.

Safety and Liability Protection

Florida’s pedestrian laws are primarily in place to keep pedestrians safe. But following these rules has the knock-on effect of reducing the potential liability a person might bear in a pedestrian accident.

Because Florida is a comparative liability state, these various pedestrian laws are critical when it comes to assigning comparative liability in your pedestrian accident case. If the driver’s defense attorney can show that you were violating one or more of these laws, for example, that you were jaywalking or not crossing at a 90-degree angle, then you can be held partly liable for the accident that occurs as a result.

Get Help and Start to Recover

If you or a loved one has been hit by a car while walking or jogging in Boca Raton, we can help! The lawyers at Personal Injury & Accident Law Center can review your case and explain your legal options so you can make the best choice for you and your family. Call us today at (561)372-3800 to schedule a free case evaluation or fill out the confidential form below.

Unfortunately for Florida residents, our roads are the most dangerous in the country for pedestrians. Florida tops the rankings as the number 1 most dangerous state, and Florida cities make up just under half of the top-20 most dangerous metro areas.

Regardless of the causes, the best way to avoid being injured in a pedestrian accident is to learn where and when they tend to occur so you can be more cautious in certain situations. According to the GHSA’s “2019 Spotlight on Highway Safety,” pedestrians should exercise caution in these five high-risk scenarios:

  • Outside of Intersections: Despite common belief, in 2018, only 25% of pedestrian fatalities occurred in or near an intersection. If you’re only being careful at crosswalks, you are only being safe 25% of the time.
  • Local Roads and Highways: The GHSA’s report found that only 22% of the total pedestrian fatalities occurred on residential and downtown streets. A much higher percentage (59%) happened on main roads that carry a city’s local and regional traffic.
  • Nighttime: Lighting conditions have a marked effect on pedestrian accidents. In fact, 76% of pedestrian fatalities occur after dark. If dawn and dusk hours are added to the mix, when sunlight is waxing and waning, we add another 4%, which equals 80% of the total fatalities.
  • Elderly More at Risk: Unfortunately, people over 50 years old are overrepresented in pedestrian accident deaths. This is a particularly troublesome finding for Florida, whose elderly population is sizeable and growing. This age group, especially those in the 75+ range, is more likely to experience challenges seeing, hearing, or moving, further exacerbating the problem.
  • Lower-Income Communities: The lower the median household income of an area, the more dangerous its streets are likely to be for pedestrians and vice versa. Given that low-income communities are less likely than higher-income communities to have well-maintained sidewalks, marked crosswalks, and streets designed for pedestrian safety, such a finding is not surprising.

 

In general, Florida law grants that pedestrians have the right of way when crossing the street, provided that they are in a crosswalk. However, pedestrians give up the right of way if they cross the street outside of a designated crosswalk.

This is somewhat of an oversimplification of the full set of Florida’s pedestrian statutes, which can be found at Section 316.130, Florida Statutes. The nuances of the provisions are key, and the rules are in place not only to help keep pedestrians safe but also to reduce potential liability on a pedestrian’s part for any accidents.

Because Florida is a comparative liability state, disobeying one or more of these pedestrian laws could result in physical harm to yourself and in a more difficult path forward for your pedestrian accident lawsuit. If the driver’s defense attorney can show that you were violating one or more of these laws, then you can be held partly liable for the accident that occurs as a result.

Get Help and Start to Recover

If you or a loved one has been hit by a car while walking or jogging in Boca Raton, we can help! The lawyers at Personal Injury & Accident Law Center can review your case and explain your legal options so you can make the best choice for you and your family. Call us today at (561)372-3800 to schedule a free case evaluation or fill out the confidential form below.

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Wrongful Death in Florida (7)

Florida law states that wrongful death lawsuits can only be initiated by the decedent’s personal representative (sometimes referred to as an “executor of the estate”).

After a person dies in an accident or from injuries caused by the negligence of another, a probate court will appoint the personal representative. This person will be responsible for overseeing the administration and distribution of the deceased’s estate, including initiating wrongful death litigation on their behalf.

It’s important to note that, although only the personal representative is allowed to initiate the lawsuit, other “beneficiaries” can be parties to the wrongful death lawsuit, such as the surviving spouse, children, parents, adoptive siblings, or other blood relatives.

Get Help and Start to Recover

If a loved one or family member has been killed in an accident, we can help! The lawyers at Personal Injury & Accident Law Center can review your case and explain your legal options so you can make the best choice for you and your family. Call us today at (561)372-3800 to schedule a free case evaluation or fill out the confidential form below.

The window to file a wrongful death lawsuit—known as the “statute of limitations”—is two years. It’s critical to remember that this is much shorter than the four-year statute of limitations for most personal injury lawsuits. 

Under Florida law, if the personal representative does not file the wrongful death lawsuit within that two-year statute of limitations, their right to hold the negligent party accountable and receive compensation for the unnecessary loss of a loved one will expire.

Get Help and Start to Recover

If a loved one or family member has been killed in an accident, we can help! The lawyers at Personal Injury & Accident Law Center can review your case and explain your legal options so you can make the best choice for you and your family. Call us today at (561)372-3800 to schedule a free case evaluation or fill out the confidential form below.

Section 768.19, Florida Statutes, known as Florida’s “Wrongful Death Act,” defines wrongful death like this:

When the death of a person is caused by the wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract or warranty of any person, including those occurring on navigable waters, and the event would have entitled the person injured to maintain an action and recover damages if death had not ensued, the person or watercraft that would have been liable in damages if death had not ensued shall be liable for damages as specified in this act notwithstanding the death of the person injured, although death was caused under circumstances constituting a felony.

If you read this definition and were not any clearer on what a “wrongful death” was, you’re not alone. That’s because it’s written in typical legalese, which means it is not intended to be easily understood by the average person.

To simply things, let’s approach it a bit differently. Think of a wrongful death lawsuit as a personal injury lawsuit where, because the injured party died, someone else brings the personal injury lawsuit on behalf of the deceased.

If we now re-read the definition with some of the extra verbiage taken out, hopefully it will make more sense. Remember, the first half of the definition states the causes of a wrongful death, the second defines the lawsuit’s relationship to a personal injury claim.

A wrongful death is a death:

(1) caused by the wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract or warranty of any person…(2) [provided that] the event would have entitled the person injured to maintain an action and recover damages if death had not ensued.

Get Help and Start to Recover

If a loved one or family member has been killed in an accident, we can help! The lawyers at Personal Injury & Accident Law Center can review your case and explain your legal options so you can make the best choice for you and your family. Call us today at (561)372-3800 to schedule a free case evaluation or fill out the confidential form below.

Although Florida law states that only the decedent’s personal representative can initiate a wrongful death lawsuit, the estate and other beneficiaries can recover damages based on their familial relationship and dependence on the deceased.

Survivors and Beneficiaries

In addition to the estate of the deceased, Florida’s Wrongful Death Act defines these other beneficiaries as “Survivors”, and they include:

The decedent’s spouse, children, parents, and, when partly or wholly dependent on the decedent for support or services, any blood relatives and adoptive brothers and sisters. It includes the child born out of wedlock of a mother, but not the child born out of wedlock of the father unless the father has recognized a responsibility for the child’s support.

Who does and does not qualify to be awarded damages can be complicated and depend on multiple factors.

Different Damages to Different Survivors

The Wrongful Death statute also explains how damages are to be allotted to the various beneficiaries. This division of damages and parties can further complicate matters, so it’s always best to speak to a qualified wrongful death lawyer.

The Estate of the Decedent (i.e. person that died)

  • Medical or funeral expenses
  • Loss of earnings
  • Loss of net accumulations to the estate

Surviving Spouses

  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Lost support and services (plus interest)
  • Loss of companionship and protection
  • Mental pain and suffering from date of the injury

Surviving Minor Children (includes all children if no surviving spouse)

  • Lost support and services (plus interest)
  • Loss of parental guidance, companionship, and instruction
  • Mental pain and suffering from date of the injury

Parents of Minor Child (or adult child if no other survivors)

  • Mental pain and suffering from date of the injury
  • Medical costs
  • Funeral and burial expenses

Get Help and Start to Recover

If a loved one or family member has been killed in an accident, we can help! The lawyers at Personal Injury & Accident Law Center can review your case and explain your legal options so you can make the best choice for you and your family. Call us today at (561)372-3800 to schedule a free case evaluation or fill out the confidential form below.

Noneconomic damages are more commonly known as “pain and suffering” damages.

The Florida laws governing noneconomic damages caps for medical malpractice cases have a long and tortuous history dating back to 2003. The worst part about their storied past is that the current status of the noneconomic damages caps is still in flux.

  • 2003: Florida passed legislation setting caps on noneconomic damages at $500,000 (or $1m for wrongful death). These statutes were in effect and untouched until 2014.
  • 2014: The Florida Supreme Court ruled that these caps were unconstitutional, but only in wrongful death medical malpractice cases.
  • 2017: The Florida Supreme Court extended this 2014 ruling to all noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases (N. Broward Hosp. Dist. v. Kalitan, 219 So. 3d 49 (Fla. 2017)).
  • 2020: Despite the court ruling these caps unconstitutional, the relevant Florida laws remain unchanged. If you seek out the official Florida statutes, you will find that the pre-2014 damage caps on noneconomic damages are still listed (Fla. Stat. §766.118(2)-(6)).

In short, despite the various rulings and hubbub, it is likely that noneconomic damages in your medical malpractice lawsuit will be capped at $500,000 for medical practitioners.

Are You The Victim of Medical Malpractice?

The nuances of the noneconomic damages caps require a professional medical malpractice attorney to decipher. If you believe you have suffered harm from medical malpractice, please get in touch with us today to discuss your legal options.

Deaths caused by medical malpractice or hospital error are included under the statutory definition of “wrongful death.” Therefore, survivors and beneficiaries of persons killed by medical malpractice or doctor error have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the decedent.

However, Florida law also stipulates that only the personal representative of the decedent can actually file a wrongful death lawsuit. What exactly “filing a lawsuit” versus “being a party to a lawsuit” means is important and is a topic you should discuss with a qualified wrongful death attorney.

If you are a spouse, parent of a minor child, or a minor child, you should talk to a personal injury lawyer about your situation and the next steps in filing a wrongful death lawsuit.

Get Help and Start to Recover

If a loved one or family member has been killed in an accident, we can help! The lawyers at Personal Injury & Accident Law Center can review your case and explain your legal options so you can make the best choice for you and your family. Call us today at (561)372-3800 to schedule a free case evaluation or fill out the confidential form below.

When someone refers to Florida’s “free kill” loophole, they are talking generally about wrongful death lawsuits. Specifically, however, they are referring to a restrictive exemption buried in the Florida Wrongful Death Act that limits who can and cannot recover certain damages in a medical malpractice-specific wrongful death lawsuit.

Origin of the Name

In some circles, this provision has earned the “Free Kill” nickname because, as the logic goes, under this exemption a dead patient poses no financial liability, whereas a severely injured—but living—patient does.

Effect of the Exemption

According to §768.21(8), F.S., a parent whose adult child dies or, vice versa, an adult child whose parent dies, provided that the person who died did not have a spouse or minor child, is forbidden from recovering pain and suffering damages in a wrongful death lawsuit where the death is due to medical malpractice.

In other words, in cases where medical malpractice led to the wrongful death, only a spouse, parent(s) of a minor child, or a minor child may can recover pain and suffering damages. In effect, this significantly limits the number of wrongful death actions filed on behalf of unmarried adults who have adult children because without pain and suffering damages the cost to litigate a malpractice case may be more than any potential recovery.

Importantly, Florida is the only state in the nation with this type of an exclusion. Given the state’s high population of widowed seniors and unmarried or divorced adults whose children are over 25, it is estimated more than half the state’s population falls into this no-man’s land.

Has Someone You Loved Died?

If you have lost a loved one due to medical malpractice and are unsure about your legal rights, we are here to help you. The laws are complex and difficult to parse, and you should not have to tackle this problem on your own. Call us at 561.372.3800 or fill out the confidential form below to get some clarity and guidance.

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Medical and Professional Malpractice (6)

The best studies we have that investigate the severity of the problem of medical error and medical malpractice conclude that it is both wide ranging and underreported

The numbers of deaths attributable to medical error has been increasing in the last 20 or so years, mostly because of a renewed effort to properly categorize the causes of death. As early as 1999, an Institute of Medicine study (“To Err Is Human”) had concluded that “at least 44,000 and perhaps as many as 98,000 Americans die in hospitals each year as a result of medical errors.

A later study in 2010 found almost twice that many deaths, at 180,000. Following on that, a 2013 study suggested the numbers range from 210,000–440,000 deaths per year attributable to medical malpractice. 

Most recently, a bombshell report from Johns Hopkins University in 2016 argued that medical errors may be responsible for over 250,000 deaths each year, making medical error the third leading cause of death in the U.S.

“Medical malpractice” encompasses a wide array of acts or failures to act. At its core, however, medical malpractice refers to professional negligence by a healthcare provider whose treatment fell below the accepted standard of care and thus caused harm, injury, or death to a patient.

Intensive care units, operating rooms, and emergency departments all have high error rates with serious adverse effects, but preventable medical errors can happen in any specialty during even all manner of procedures. Here are some of the most commonly cited areas for medical malpractice:

Diagnosis

  • Missed diagnosis or failure to properly diagnose (e.g. stroke or heart attack)
  • Misreading of X-ray, MRI, ultrasound, or other diagnostic test
  • Failure to make request for specialist consultation, referral, or transfer

Surgery

  • Improper surgical techniques
  • Operating on the wrong body part or wrong site
  • Anesthesia mistakes
  • Leaving foreign object in the body
  • Improper post-op procedures

Hospitalization and Care Facilities

  • Restraint-related injuries
  • Falls from improper bed rails or restraints
  • Burns
  • Pressure ulcers or bed sores
  • Mistaken patient identities

Testing

  • Failure to order the proper tests
  • Defective medical devices
  • Unnecessary testing or treatment
  • Tests you did not consent to

Medication

  • Adverse drug events
  • Dangerous drugs
  • Prescribing wrong medications or conflicting medications

Are You the Victim of Medical Malpractice?

If you believe you are the victim of medical malpractice, you need to speak to a qualified malpractice attorney right away. The Florida laws governing medical malpractice lawsuits are complex, and you should not try to bring such cases by yourself. 

Noneconomic damages are more commonly known as “pain and suffering” damages.

The Florida laws governing noneconomic damages caps for medical malpractice cases have a long and tortuous history dating back to 2003. The worst part about their storied past is that the current status of the noneconomic damages caps is still in flux.

  • 2003: Florida passed legislation setting caps on noneconomic damages at $500,000 (or $1m for wrongful death). These statutes were in effect and untouched until 2014.
  • 2014: The Florida Supreme Court ruled that these caps were unconstitutional, but only in wrongful death medical malpractice cases.
  • 2017: The Florida Supreme Court extended this 2014 ruling to all noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases (N. Broward Hosp. Dist. v. Kalitan, 219 So. 3d 49 (Fla. 2017)).
  • 2020: Despite the court ruling these caps unconstitutional, the relevant Florida laws remain unchanged. If you seek out the official Florida statutes, you will find that the pre-2014 damage caps on noneconomic damages are still listed (Fla. Stat. §766.118(2)-(6)).

In short, despite the various rulings and hubbub, it is likely that noneconomic damages in your medical malpractice lawsuit will be capped at $500,000 for medical practitioners.

Are You The Victim of Medical Malpractice?

The nuances of the noneconomic damages caps require a professional medical malpractice attorney to decipher. If you believe you have suffered harm from medical malpractice, please get in touch with us today to discuss your legal options.

Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet for winning legal cases of any kind. Each area of law has its governing statutes and each case has its own unique fact pattern. Medical malpractice lawsuits, in particular, are very fact intensive and require numerous expert witnesses.

That being said, for medical malpractice lawsuits, there are fundamentally four elements that are key to a successful medical malpractice case:

  1. Establishing a legitimate patient-doctor relationship.
  2. Proving that the medical provider neglected to provide a reasonable standard of care.
  3. Showing that this negligence directly led to the patient’s injuries, illness, or death.
  4. Confirming that the patient suffered damages or loss as a result of this negligence.

When you work a qualified medical malpractice attorney, great care will be given to these four elements.

Are You The Victim of Medical Malpractice?

We are here to help you. Call us at 561.372.3800 or send in a new client form below to talk to an attorney about your medical malpractice claim.

Deaths caused by medical malpractice or hospital error are included under the statutory definition of “wrongful death.” Therefore, survivors and beneficiaries of persons killed by medical malpractice or doctor error have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the decedent.

However, Florida law also stipulates that only the personal representative of the decedent can actually file a wrongful death lawsuit. What exactly “filing a lawsuit” versus “being a party to a lawsuit” means is important and is a topic you should discuss with a qualified wrongful death attorney.

If you are a spouse, parent of a minor child, or a minor child, you should talk to a personal injury lawyer about your situation and the next steps in filing a wrongful death lawsuit.

Get Help and Start to Recover

If a loved one or family member has been killed in an accident, we can help! The lawyers at Personal Injury & Accident Law Center can review your case and explain your legal options so you can make the best choice for you and your family. Call us today at (561)372-3800 to schedule a free case evaluation or fill out the confidential form below.

When someone refers to Florida’s “free kill” loophole, they are talking generally about wrongful death lawsuits. Specifically, however, they are referring to a restrictive exemption buried in the Florida Wrongful Death Act that limits who can and cannot recover certain damages in a medical malpractice-specific wrongful death lawsuit.

Origin of the Name

In some circles, this provision has earned the “Free Kill” nickname because, as the logic goes, under this exemption a dead patient poses no financial liability, whereas a severely injured—but living—patient does.

Effect of the Exemption

According to §768.21(8), F.S., a parent whose adult child dies or, vice versa, an adult child whose parent dies, provided that the person who died did not have a spouse or minor child, is forbidden from recovering pain and suffering damages in a wrongful death lawsuit where the death is due to medical malpractice.

In other words, in cases where medical malpractice led to the wrongful death, only a spouse, parent(s) of a minor child, or a minor child may can recover pain and suffering damages. In effect, this significantly limits the number of wrongful death actions filed on behalf of unmarried adults who have adult children because without pain and suffering damages the cost to litigate a malpractice case may be more than any potential recovery.

Importantly, Florida is the only state in the nation with this type of an exclusion. Given the state’s high population of widowed seniors and unmarried or divorced adults whose children are over 25, it is estimated more than half the state’s population falls into this no-man’s land.

Has Someone You Loved Died?

If you have lost a loved one due to medical malpractice and are unsure about your legal rights, we are here to help you. The laws are complex and difficult to parse, and you should not have to tackle this problem on your own. Call us at 561.372.3800 or fill out the confidential form below to get some clarity and guidance.

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Business Interruption Insurance (2)

Your commercial insurance policy should have “business interruption coverage” that covers you for revenues that are lost due to forced or unforeseen closures. Business interruption insurance is designed to offer financial protection to companies that have suffered a loss of income as a result of a disaster. 

In the Sunshine State, these disasters are more often than not natural disasters: hurricanes, floods, or windstorms. However, the SARS outbreak in 2003 and the current COVID-19 pandemic are also instances in which businesses have been forced to close and suffer economic losses.

The standard formula for determining the value of a business interruption insurance claim is:

Operating Costs + Net Profits + Approved Add’l Costs.

The numbers are calculated for a specific timeframe during which the disaster was ongoing. For natural disasters, these timeframes are fairly easy to compute. The ongoing battle with the coronavirus pandemic may prove to be more difficult. Business owners and insurance companies will definitely disagree on the extent of the damage.

Insurance companies are loath to shell out money for your claims, and they will use any excuse to deny you, so the more meticulously catalogued the costs the better. Having an experienced insurance lawyer review your policy can increase your chance of a successful business interruption insurance claim.

Our firm can help you assess and file your business interruption insurance claim. Especially if your business has been hurt by the COVID-19 outbreak, you should get advice from a qualified attorney. Call us at (561)372-3800.

Business interruption coverage is a particularly complex area of insurance law. But one thing is simple: Insurance companies are beholden above all to their bottom lines, and they will use any excuse to deny your claim. 

For this reason it’s important to understand some of the reasons that might give for denying or delaying payment of your business interruption insurance claims. Reviewing the language of your specific policy will be the first step in the process.

Physical Damage Standard

To begin with, in some cases the courts have held that business interruption coverage only applies if there has been physical damage to the premises. During most natural disasters (e.g. hurricanes), this standard seems reasonable.

However, the current coronavirus pandemic, which is no less a disaster, isn’t causing physical damage to storefronts. As such, there are questions about when or even if interruption caused by coronavirus will qualify as physical damage. This issue is by no means settled, but insurance companies will use it as an argument against paying you.

Excluded Damages

A more underhanded means to avoid paying out a business interruption insurance claim could be hidden deep inside your current policy. After the 2003 SARS outbreak, some commercial insurance policies began to include clauses that explicitly excluded damages caused by biological and microbial agents.

If you read your policy closely, you might see clauses stating that you aren’t covered for losses caused by “bacteria” or losses caused by “a virus or bacteria.” The good news is that an experienced lawyer can use these language nuances against an insurance company (e.g. a bacterium and a virus are not the same thing). Because the exact wording of your policy is critical in these instances it’s important to speak with an attorney who can carefully review your policy.

If your company has been hurt by a natural disaster or the current coronavirus pandemic, your business interruption insurance policy might be your path to recovering some of your economic losses. Call the Personal Injury & Accident Law Center today at (561)372-3800 for a free insurance policy review.

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