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Just last week, the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board released statistics showing in 2016 fatal crashes on privately owned aircrafts was at its lowest level in 50 years.

According to the NTSB, the fatal-accident rate was 1 per 100,000 flight hours recorded which is the lowest in decades. 386 people were killed in private-aviation in 2016 compared to 631 in 1997. Although, the total number of fatalities were up slightly from the year prior, the overall rate was down due to the increase in private plane hours in flight.

At the Garvin Law Firm, we were happy to learn about the new statistics from the NTSB given the fact that Attorney Jeff Garvin, has a passion for flying and often flies for law firm business.  Jeff has been flying since 1975 and has logged more than 2,000 hours of time on his Cessna 210 traveling for both work and pleasure.  In Jeff’s spare time, he continues to flight-train and takes lessons regularly to stay up to date with skills and technological advances that help him be safer in the sky.

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Best Personal Injury Lawyers Fort Myers

Attorneys Leland and Jeff Garvin

The Garvin Law Firm is proud to have been listed in the 2018 U.S. News & World Report Best LawyersBest Law Firms” list. In addition, Founding Partner Jeffrey R. Garvin has been recognized as the 2018 Fort Myers Lawyer of the Year in the practice area of Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs.

Inclusion in Best Lawyers is based on a rigorous peer-review survey process. No fee or payment to participate is allowed. Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence.

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https://www.garvinlegal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Screen-Shot-2017-07-20-at-5.52.53-PM-300x300.pngLast legislative session, the Florida legislature failed to pass a bill that would have required mandatory bodily injury insurance for drivers in Florida.  The bill would have replaced laws enacted in 1971 as part of a no fault automobile insurance plan.  This change in law aims to replace the current no fault system under which Florida drivers are forced to purchase only Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage, which is costly, and requires Floridians to purchase additional health insurance that is only in place when they are in a vehicle. According to a State-commissioned actuarial study, the proposed reforms would have saved drivers an average of $81 per car.  Thankfully, last week a second and similar bill cleared it’s only committee in the Florida House and is heading to the floor for a vote. As always, we continue to recommend that Florida drivers purchase Uninsured Motorist insurance coverage as there is currently no requirement that Florida drivers purchase bodily injury insurance to cover the damage they cause unfortunate event of an automobile accident.

Florida’s Current No Fault Automobile Insurance Laws

In 1971, Florida adopted a no fault automobile insurance plan. “No fault” and “PIP coverage” are used interchangeably to describe an automobile insurance plan that allows policyholders to recover money for certain financial losses from their own insurers.  The system was designed to provide injured drivers with up to $10,000 to cover medical bills and certain other costs, regardless of who was at fault for the accident that resulted in their injuries.  Currently, owners of automobiles in Florida are required to  purchase only $10,000 in PIP coverage and $10,000 in Property Damage Liability (PD coverage).

This current system is not working out very well.  PIP coverage with a $10,000 limit does not cover much, insofar as it covers only 80% of medical expenses and 60% of lost income, leaving claimants responsible for 20% of medical expenses and 40% of lost income; and that’s only up to $10,000.00.  Drivers with healthcare insurance are paying for PIP insurance that may overlap, thus double paying; this is especially costly for veterans, and the elderly who are already covered under federal health plans.  A bigger problem is that, according to information provided to a panel of the Florida Senate, Florida drivers are paying insurance premiums that are among the country’s five highest for some of the lowest required coverage amounts. The vast majority of states do not have Florida’s no fault system that continues to riddled with fraud and leaves many victims responsible for their medical bills caused by the negligence of another driver.

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Unlike 48 of the other 50 states, Florida does not require its drivers to carry insurance that will pay for bodily injury caused by a negligent or reckless driver.

Fort Myers Auto Accident AttorneyAccording to a recent study done by the Insurance Information Institute, Florida is second only to California in the number of uninsured motorists on the highways. Currently, Florida has 3.2 million drivers on the highways driving without any type of insurance which would pay for the injuries or death of the people they may hurt or even kill. Florida and New Hampshire are the only two states in the entire country that do not currently require even a minimum amount of bodily injury liability coverage. On top of the 3.2 million that are totally uninsured Florida has another major problem. Of those drivers in Florida counted as “insured” many have chosen to only buy PIP insurance that provides minimum payments to themselves and nothing to others that they may harm.

Under current Florida law, a vehicle owner can legally purchase an insurance policy that qualifies him or her as an “insured” that only provides Personal Injury Protection for themselves. Taken together, we have the 3.2 million who have absolutely no insurance and countless others who have simply bought PIP coverage with no liability insurance included. As a result, there is a strong likelihood that if a driver is involved in an accident in Florida the person who caused the accident is carrying no insurance to pay for the victim’s injuries.

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Fort Myers Personal Injury Lawyer - Jeffrey R. Garvin
FORT MYERS, Fla., October 3, 2012 – Florida Attorney Jeffrey R. Garvin of The Garvin Law Firm has been named 2013 “Lawyer of the Year” in the practice area of Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs for the Fort Myers / Naples metropolitan area.

Only a single lawyer in each practice area in each community is honored as “Lawyer of the Year,” according to Best Lawyers® and The Best Lawyers in America® (Copyright 2012 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, SC).

Attorneys recognized as “Lawyer of the Year” are selected based on particularly impressive voting averages received during the exhaustive peer-review assessments conducted with thousands of leading lawyers each year, according to the Best Lawyers® website.

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Florida_PIP_changesAfter years of effort (and plenty of money spread around Tallahassee by powerful lobbyists) the insurance industry has finally succeeded in limiting a motorist’s right to collect under Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage.

As advocating for the rights Floridians injured in auto accidents is a large portion of or our practice, we have been watching this issue very closely.

For years, the industry has been blaming Florida’s no-fault law for staged accidents and other health care fraud. Portions of the Florida no-fault law requires every motorist to carry $10,000 in PIP coverage. This coverage is meant to pay the first $10,000 in expenses after an accident, regardless of who is at fault. The at-fault driver’s liability insurance and a victim’s health insurance come into play after the PIP benefits have been exhausted.

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Garvin is Proud to Join Prestigious Group of Young, Trial Lawyers in Florida



Top Young Fort Myers Car Accident LawyerFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE-May16th, 2012-Fort Lauderdale, FL- The National Trial Lawyers Association has hand-selected 40 of the most accomplished young, trial lawyers throughout the state of Florida, and Leland Garvin, of Garvin Law Firm, has been included in this exclusive group.

The Top 40 Under 40 identifies individuals that exemplify superior qualifications, trial results, and leadership as a young trial lawyer. According to the association, “Selection is based on a thorough multi-phase process which includes peer nominations combined with third-party research. The result is a credible, comprehensive and impressive list of young attorneys chosen to represent their state.”

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The State of Florida can now be liable for up to $200,000 per person and $300,000 per tort claim, effective Oct. 1, 2011. That’s up from the $100,000 and $200,000 caps that had been in existence for lawsuits against the state, its agencies or political subdivisions.

While the increase is welcome news to victims of governmental negligence, the new caps may still be woefully inadequate when it comes to compensating a victim for a personal injury, wrongful death, or other injuries caused by t. Suing the State of Florida is a complex process, which includes extensive pre-suit requirements and as such; Government liability claims in Florida require an experienced law firm. As these relatively modest caps indicate, identifying other entities that may be liable for damages can be critical when it comes to securing a victim adequate compensation in the wake of a serious injury or fatal accident. The sovereign immunity limits in Florida apply to schools, police departments, counties, and many other offices and agencies under state jurisdiction.1232540_statue_of_wisdom

Florida Statute 768.28 sets the still relatively low damage caps, which were previously unchanged for nearly three decades. Lawmakers contend the caps have deterred claims against the state as there is also 25 percent cap on attorney fees which provide for a maximum fee of $25,000 (or $50,000 under the new cap). While that may sound adequate to some, bringing a serious personal injury, auto accident, or wrongful death lawsuit to trial can cost a law firm hundreds of thousands of dollars. Whether in Fort Myers, Naples, or Fort Lauderdale, finding a firm with the resources to properly handle your case is an important consideration when choosing an attorney. Injured claimants must also consider that their lawyer will only get paid if they are successful in making a recovery on behalf of a client.

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2012 could be historic for injured patients if the Florida Supreme Court follows the lead of Georgia, Illinois, and other states who have declared caps on damages in medical malpractice cases to be unconstitutional. The courts have reasoned that limitations on damages violate an individual’s access to the courts, treat the medical profession different from all others, and often force the state taxpayers to absorb the cost of future care.

Medical malpractice law has always been a hot topic, especially in Florida, where extensive lobbying by hospitals, doctors, and the insurance industry has led to major changes affecting the rights of injured victims. While medical professionals have argued that malpractice lawsuits have caused billions of dollars to be wasted on unneeded medical tests; yet privately, they admit that these same tests would be ordered if the patient was their family member.

As Florida medical malpractice attorneys we have been closely monitoring the debate over medical malpractice caps, which is set to come before the Florida Supreme Court next year.

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The National Transportation Safety Board has recently recommended that commercial truck drivers be prohibited from using hand-held or hands-free cell phones while behind the wheel.

As Florida trucking accident attorneys we have been following this issue and have come to the conclusion that the NTSB recommendations should be either be made into law or imposed privately by individual carriers. Despite a move last year by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to ban bus and truck drivers from text messaging, several horrific accidents have been blamed on distracted commercial drivers. 62565_white_semi-truck

According to a report by CNN, the latest proposal comes in the wake of an accident in Kentucky where a 45-year-old trucker is accused of killing 10 people in a van while distracted by a cell phone. The truck in Kentucky crossed the median and slammed into the van, which was on its way to a wedding. An investigation revealed the driver had used his cell phone 69 times in the 24 hours before the accident and used it four times in the minutes before the crash.

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