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Sarasota Legal Blog

Motor vehicle accidents and settlement negotiations

Despite what television and the movies may have you believe about the law, the truth of the matter is that most lawsuits in Florida settle before going to trial. Depending on the circumstances at hand, reaching resolution prior to trial can save you time and money. It can also provide you with the favorable outcome you need to obtain financial stability and closure. However, before accepting a settlement, you need to carefully consider the facts of your case to make sure that it is the right choice for you.

One of the first steps you can take in settling your claim is to issue a demand letter. Here, you lay out the extent of your damages and request a certain amount of compensation that will avoid litigation. While this can be an effective way to lay out the strength of your case if the matter was to go to trial, it can also give you a starting point for negotiations.

There are many ways to deal with a bad contractor

As a homeowner, there's nothing more exciting than taking on a home improvement project. While hiring a contractor is easy enough, there's no guarantee the person will do what they promise.

One of the best ways to deal with a bad contractor is to avoid this situation in the first place. For example, do your homework to ensure that you hire a reputable contractor who has provided high quality service to others in your community. Also, you should never let a person begin work until there is a signed contract in place.

Alcohol's effects on driving ability can cause car accidents

The numerous public safety initiatives and law enforcement crackdowns show the seriousness of drunk driving. Floridians know that it is a crime to drive drunk, yet they continue to do so at an unrelenting rate. This puts far too many innocent motorists in harm's way.

This is because alcohol has a profound effect on an individual's ability to drive safely. To start, alcohol impairs one's judgment, meaning that one's brain may not be able to rely on its experience to quickly make decisions. Alcohol can also affect a driver's vision. It doesn't take much alcohol intake for an individual's vision to become blurred or doubled. This can make it difficult to perceive slowed or stopped traffic, or people crossing the street, and one's reaction time can be delayed. It may also cause a driver to swerve into oncoming traffic or veer off the road.

Florida's dog bite liability law

Even the most docile dog can turn vicious in the blink of an eye. Those who are in such an animal's path at the time can be bitten and attacked in a way that leaves them scrambling to get away. It only takes one dog bite for an individual to suffer serious injuries that can be challenging to recover from. In addition to the pain and suffering that can be inflicted, dog bite victims can be left with extensive medical bills, rehabilitation costs and disfigurement.

Although these damages can be overwhelming, their financial ramifications can be lessened when a victim is able to succeed on a personal injury lawsuit. Under Florida law, a dog owner can be held responsible if his or her dog bites another individual when the victim is in public or lawfully upon the dog owner's property. However, if a dog owner prominently displays a sign that warns others of the dog and its behaviors, then the dog owner cannot be held liable for damages suffered unless the victim was under the age of six or the dog owner was otherwise negligent.

5 important facts about being a cyclist in Florida

As a cyclist, you're always at a high risk of getting into an accident and suffering an injury. Drivers do not always think about cyclists being on the roads, even though they're becoming more common than in the past.

Today, there are a few things you can learn about being a cyclist that could help you stay safe and understand your rights. Here are five important facts to know before you ride.

Keeping yourself safe from distracted drivers

Distracted driving is incredibly dangerous, yet people do it anyway. It's very hard to stop because most people believe they won't get in an accident -- even if they know what the statistics tell them about the dangers. They'll often try to hide it and their actions may not come to light until they cause an accident.

To stay safe yourself, you need to spot distracted drivers and keep your distance. Watch out for the following warning signs:

  • Someone whose speed changes often and for no reason
  • Someone who is going faster or slower than the flow of traffic around the car
  • Someone who keeps drifting from one side of the lane to the other, perhaps leaving the lane entirely
  • Someone who sits at a stop sign or a traffic light longer than needed; for instance, a texting driver may not move when the light turns green

Increased stopping distances can result in fewer truck accidents

If you've ever found yourself surrounded by semi-trucks, then you've likely felt at least a moment's worth of anxiety. These big vehicles, after all, can cause an enormous amount of destruction in an auto accident. Those in Florida who are unlucky enough to be involved in one of these wrecks can be left with serious injuries, sometimes causing them to be inflicted with permanent disabilities.

One reason truck accidents occur with more frequency than we care to think is because they require much more distance in order to come to a safe stop. The primary reason for this, of course, is because these vehicles can weigh as much as 75,000 pounds more than a car. Therefore, when one of these trucks travels at 65 miles per hour, it will require a total of 525 feet in order to come to a safe stop. That's nearly the equivalent of two entire football fields. That distance is compared to the 316 feet needed for a car traveling the same distance to come to a stop.

The costs of treating catastrophic injuries of the spinal cord

Car accident injuries in Florida can fall anywhere on a spectrum of injury severity. At one end are those injuries that are minor in nature, such as bumps, bruises, scrapes and maybe a cut or two. On the other end of the spectrum are those catastrophic injuries that can completely reshape an individual's life. These injuries can lead to permanent disability and cause extensive physical, emotional, and financial damages.

Amongst these catastrophic injuries are those related to the spinal cord. To serve as an example of how costly these injuries can be, let us look at the estimated expenses associated with treating this medical condition. An individual whose spinal cord injury leaves him or her with an incomplete motor function can face nearly $350,000 in medical expenses and rehabilitation costs in the first year of treatment alone. Each additional year can cost more than $40,000. An individual who suffers from high tetraplegia can be hit with more than $1 million of treatment-related expenses in their first year, with approximately $184,000 in subsequent years.

The dangers of swerving around a semi-truck

Commuting during rush hour can be stressful. You’re late for work, you’re worried about missing your meeting—and traffic isn’t cooperating with you. When you get stuck behind a slow-moving semi-truck, it feels like steam is coming out of your ears. You wait for an opening in the adjacent lane so that you can dart around the truck and speed ahead toward the office.

Before you do, however, you should take a moment to reassess your decision. Making one wrong move around a semi-truck could literally be the difference between life and death. In today’s post, we examine what makes trucking accidents so devastating.

Are you prepared to navigate a truck accident claim?

Experiencing a commercial truck accident is always a big ordeal, even for those who do not suffer significant property damage or injuries. Unfortunately, for those who do suffer costly damages or serious injuries, navigating the aftermath of a truck accident can prove enormously difficult. In some cases, a victim may miss out on substantial portions of the compensation that he or she deserves from the accident because of a weak claim or poor understanding of the legal issues that a commercial truck accident involves.

If you recently survived a truck accident, then you probably have some very pressing needs to address, such as your own physical recovery from your injuries, the replacement of your vehicle and any other personal property damaged in the wreck, and any income you lost. Each of these areas requires special attention to help keep your rights and priorities protected while you recover.

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Michael L. Morgan Law Group
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Phone: 941-444-1028
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