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Florida nursing home injuries

Billing state and federal government agencies for an unnecessary treatment of nursing home patients not only cheats taxpayers, but it can also lead to Florida nursing home abuse. This type of healthcare fraud involves improper, inflated, or otherwise unlawful billing of government and private insurers that fund nursing home residents’ daily care. As our Naples, Florida nursing home abuse lawyers can explain, the vulnerable adults who live in these facilities are inevitably affected.

Unnecessary intensive care – particularly at the end of life – may result in significant profits for the nursing homes, but it can increase pain, exhaustion, and suffering of the patient. It can also delay palliative or hospice care and might even accelerate their decline.

In one study published not long ago in the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, researchers reported a 65 percent increase in the number of nursing home residents receiving “ultra-high” rehab services – most within the last seven days of their lives. The study solely looked at New York nursing homes, but our Naples nursing home injury lawyers know this is a Florida issue as well.

The Naples Daily News reported that the state’s largest nursing home provider faces a $255 million judgment for systematic fraud of the government by providing unnecessary treatments to patients; as we will further detail, there is little doubt that this constitutes nursing home abuse.

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Florida boating accidents

According to the U.S. Coast Guard’s latest 2019 Recreational Boating Statistics Report, alcohol is the primary contributing factor in fatal U.S. and Florida boating accidents. Even as deaths declined overall, alcohol continued to be a top factor in deadly boating incidents.

Of the 614 boat accident deaths reported in the U.S. last year, 141 (or 23 percent) were mainly attributed to alcohol consumption. This is even as boating deaths overall fell by 3.2 percent compared to the previous year. The total number of boating accidents in 2019 slightly increased, from 4,145 to 4,168 (about 0.6 percent). The number of injuries increased too, by about 2 percent.

As our Fort Myers boating accident attorneys are aware, similar data has been reported in Florida. In 2018 (the most recent year for which statistics are available), there were 54 boating deaths statewide, according to the Florida Fish

& Wildlife Conservation Commission – more than reported in any other state. Among fatal boating accidents, 22 percent were attributed to alcohol and/or drug use.

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Florida injury lawsuit

When considering whether to file a Florida personal injury lawsuit, it is important to ask: Who is going to pay?

Insurance companies often cover most injury claims. Typically, these policies cover auto accidents or injuries on someone else’s property (premises liability claims such as slip-and-falls, third-party criminal attacks, dog bites, etc.). But as our Fort Myers personal injury lawyers can explain, this is not always the only source of recovery. In some instances, it can be worthwhile to pursue a defendant’s personal assets in addition to collecting from the insurance policy.

It is not usually the first avenue of compensation we discuss for the simple fact that many personal injury lawsuit defendants simply do not have enough personal assets to make pursuing a claim against them worth the time. But if one’s injuries are serious and there isn’t enough insurance to cover the claim, it may be an additional avenue to pursue.

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Florida car accident lawsuit

Florida seatbelt laws require all motor vehicle drivers and passengers to wear a seat belt to lower the risk of serious injury and death caused by car accidents. Failure to do so could result in a ticket, but worse, it could be the difference between minor and life-altering injuries. For this reason, courts have held that Florida car accident lawsuit plaintiffs could have their damages reduced if they were not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. As our Naples injury lawyers can explain, this is what is known as “the seat belt defense.”

To be clear: Not wearing a seat belt does not kill your case. After all, the cause of the crash probably had nothing to do with whether you buckled up. Where it becomes relevant is the issue of damages or the value of your claim.

As long as another driver was liable for the crash, you still have the legal right to pursue and collect damages for your injuries. However, the amount of money you ultimately collect for your claim may be reduced if you do not wear a seat belt. This is primarily thanks to the pure comparative negligence doctrine that Florida follows.

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Florida PIP lawyer

When answering calls from Fort Myers car accident victims, our attorneys have found that Florida PIP is one of the most misunderstood concepts.

“Why am I fighting with my own insurer?” “Can I still sue the person who hit me?” “What is the ‘no-fault’ system anyway? Someone is at-fault, right?”

Understandably, people are confused because Florida is one of just a few states that still uses this kind of system to handle auto accident claims, and there are all kinds of exceptions and caveats. PIP is not supposed to deny you the opportunity to have your damages covered, but many crash victims find navigating the system difficult and frustrating.  Our team at Garvin Injury Law can help you get answers and determine how to maximize your odds of receiving full and fair compensation for your injuries.

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Key West injury lawyer

In most Florida injury lawsuits, the injured person (plaintiff) needs to show the person or entity they are suing (defendant) violated a duty of care that was owed, resulting in the injuries and financial damages at issue. In some cases, however, the plaintiff can establish the duty of care and the breach of duty using the doctrine of negligence per se. The phrase “per se” in Latin means “in itself” or “by itself.” As a Key West injury lawyer can explain, negligence per se is a legal term that refers to a violation of some statute, law, or regulation enacted to protect individuals in the plaintiff’s same position. Where the doctrine applies, one need only prove the defendant’s actions were the proximate (legal) cause of their injuries.

A recent ruling by Florida’s Second District Court of Appeal dealt with negligence per se in an elevator accident. In the case of Vogel v. Cornerstone Doctors Condominium Association, Inc., the question was whether the defendant property owner acted reasonably with regard to the safety of its elevator. In that case, the Defendant owned a two-story building that houses medical offices. Plaintiff was a patient who went to his doctor to give them his new insurance card. On his way in, he rode the elevator to the second level without issue. Upon departure, he approached the elevator again and found the doors were open. He stepped inside but soon discovered the elevator floor was not properly level, as it was about two feet below the landing. Unfortunately, he did not realize this until after he had taken a step in, and as a result, fell, suffering personal injuries to his neck and back.

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Fort Myers personal injury lawsuit

Aside from how much money a case is worth, Fort Myers personal injury lawsuit plaintiffs often want to know how long their case will take to resolve. Most are not thrilled to hear the ever-popular lawyer answer: It depends. But the truth is that determining how long a case will take to resolve can be more of an art than a science. First, know that settlements can often be preferable to litigation. They take less time and tend to use fewer resources. You may never even need to file a lawsuit if your injury attorney can successfully negotiate a fair resolution with the insurer(s) involved. While this is oversimplified for purposes of making this a brief blog post; for a settlement to be reached, both sides need to agree on two main issues: Liability and fair value.

Liability refers to which party is legally responsible for paying. Florida follows a system of “pure comparative fault,” essentially meaning a plaintiff (the person filing the case) could be 99 percent liable – and still collect the remaining 1 percent of damages from the other at-fault party. However, your damage award is going to be proportionately reduced by your degree of fault. So if you are 40 percent liable, your total damages will be reduced by 40 percent.

Fair value refers to how much your case is reasonably worth in light of the severity of your injuries, how much physical pain you suffered, the totality of your medical expenses (past and future), the time you had to take off work, the impact to your future wage-earning capabilities and the extent to which this has impacted your personal life. Understand that for cases involving serious injuries, it is probably impossible to resolve in less than a few months because it is going to take at least that long (usually longer) to accurately determine the full severity of your injuries, the long-term estimate of future medical expenses and how these injuries are going to impact the rest of your life.

It should go without saying that you or your attorney will need to prove causation, that is that the injury for which you are seeking “fair value” was actually caused by (or made worse as a result of) the crash or incident. This is an often contested area as many of us have some evidence of the natural aging process going on in our body at a time that we may become injured.

Needless to say, there can be more than a few points of disagreement. When those differences cannot be resolved, cases end up going to trial.

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teen driver crash risk

Car accidents are the leading cause of death for Florida teens, and adolescents face four times the crash risk as drivers over 20, particularly within the first 18 months after receiving their driver’s license. Part of the reason for that could be immaturity, which could lead to dangerous actions behind the wheel that heighten the crash risk. But a new report also finds teen drivers have a greater chance of serious injury or death in a crash because they’re more likely to be driving older, smaller cars.

As one research scientist for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety stated, “Despite everything we know about young drivers and crash risk, teens are still driving the least safe vehicles. Small vehicles do not protect as well in a crash, and older vehicles are less likely to be equipped with essential safety equipment.”

The study authors examined data from deadly crashes that occurred between 2013 and 2017. What they discovered was that among teen motorists killed in these crashes, those operating older vehicles faced four times the fatality risk as those driving newer models. Furthermore, nearly 70 percent of teens who died in collisions were in vehicles that were older than six years. Teenagers also spend more than half their drive time in a vehicle that’s more than a decade old. Nearly one-third of those who died were in vehicles that were lighter and smaller. Less than 4 percent of teen drivers who lost their lives in crashes were in vehicles under three years old.

Our Fort Myers car accident lawyers understand parents’ reluctance to pay a lot of money for their teenager’s first vehicle. But what many probably are not aware of is how much less safe those older cars are.

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Florida personal injury lawsuit

As it is with any type of litigation, there are certain risks associated when you pursue a Florida personal injury lawsuit. The good news is these risks are significantly mitigated by:

        • Hiring a skilled personal injury lawyer with experience in successfully handling cases like yours.
        • Contingency fee arrangements that do not require plaintiff attorney’s fees to be paid upfront – or at all – unless you win.

An experienced attorney can provide you with an informed opinion about the strength and value of your injury case, giving you a good sense of whether it is better to accept a settlement offer or proceed to trial. The contingency fee arrangement is a safety net too. Not only because you are off-the-hook for your attorney’s fees if you do not win, but it also creates a clear incentive for your injury lawyer to be frank with you about your chances of prevailing – and the best way to do it.

That said, our Fort Myers injury attorneys are always straightforward with our clients about some of the potential pitfalls of personal injury litigation. These are general risks, though some may be more relevant for certain types of cases (i.e., auto accidents, medical malpractice, premises liability, claims against government entities, etc.).

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Naples personal injury lawyer

Some people think they must suffer catastrophic injuries to recover damages in a Florida injury lawsuit. That is not always true. What is true is that when catastrophic injuries are involved, winning full and fair compensation can actually be an even greater challenge. In you have sustained life-changing injuries, it is highly recommended that you sign nothing until you at least consult with an injury lawyer. After that, you can then decide if you feel comfortable handling the claim alone or if you’d prefer a trial attorney’s help.

We know for a fact that no insurer is eager to pay the full sum of what is rightly owed in these cases.

As our Naples personal injury attorneys can explain, catastrophic injury claims (which typically involve severe damage to the spine (back), spinal cord, brain, or other extremities) are actually more common these days than they were even two or three decades ago. This is mostly because of the evolution of modern medicine. As noted by insurance industry research: “Medical advances are helping first responders better stabilize accident victims at a scene… Many who used to die are now living. … Advances in medicine (have also) significantly reduced complications that arise from catastrophic injury claims. This means longer life expectancies.”

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