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Sarasota Legal Blog

Florida bicyclists are vulnerable to catastrophic injuries

Because Florida is warm year-round, people will take advantage of the climate to take part in outdoor activities. A popular one is riding a bicycle.

While bicycle riding is good for fitness, helps save money and care for the environment, there are inherent dangers with the activity.

Motorcyclists face a long recovery after a crash

Motorcycle wrecks are serious matters because the injuries are often life-threatening. The person on the motorcycle doesn't have anything to protect them from being injured except for their helmet and some clothing. People who are in other vehicles have the frame and body to offer some protection. Plus, they have seat belts to help them remain safe.

Injuries depend on the severity of the motorcycle accident. Minor accidents may cause broken bones and lacerations. More serious accidents might be fatal or result in head or spinal cord injuries. Even if the rider survives the crash, there may be some lifelong issues they have to deal with.

Teacher suffers dog bite injuries from police dog

Dogs are considered "man's best friend" for good reason. They are loyal, friendly and excellent pets. However, Floridians should remember that regardless of how friendly and tame a dog is, there remain baser instincts that an animal will have that could lead to a biting incident.

A teacher was bitten by a parent's dog when opening the back door of the car to let the child out. The parent is a sheriff's deputy, and the police dog was in the backseat with the child.

Strong legal ally can help with your personal injury claim

Recently on the blog we discussed the settlement negotiation process. Aggressively negotiating a potential resolution to your personal injury claim can be an important way not only to seek the compensation you deserve, but also to gauge the strength of your case if it has to go to trial. Oftentimes during settlement negotiations, the parties will lay out their case and why they think they can win at trial. So, even if you plan on settling your personal injury claim in Florida you should prepare for those negotiations like you plan to head to trial.

This means a couple of things. First, it means that you need to have a firm grasp of the evidence that supports your claim as well as the evidence that damages your case. Second, you need to have a realistic expectation about the strength of your case. Here, having a solid understanding of the law and how it applies to your unique set of circumstances can give you a pretty clear indication of your likelihood of success if you were to go to trial.

6 signs that a contractor is "shady"

Having construction work done on your home is a big financial undertaking. It is imperative to make sure that you have a reputable contractor. There is a chance that your job won't be completed properly or to your specifications if you don't have a contractor who handles things properly.

"Shady" or untrustworthy contractors can cost homeowners a lot of money. By protecting yourself from the start, you are minimizing the risk that you will have to deal with subpar project completion. Here are some signs of a bad contractor that you need to be aware of:

  • Contractor only wants to do business over the phone: To properly bid on a construction project, a contractor needs to meet with you in person to go over the specifications of the job. The exception is if the person doesn't live in your area. In this case, a meeting over a video chat and having to send documents and plans back and forth is reasonable.
  • Contractor isn't willing to share references: All reputable contractors have amassed a list of people who are so satisfied with their work that they are willing to give a good word for them. If you ask for references and are given some, contact a few. Ask pointed and open-ended questions. This can help you get a feel for how the contractor works.
  • Contractor doesn't have valid license or insurance: To legally do construction contracting jobs, the person needs to have the proper license and insurance. Not only is this required by law, it helps protect you in the event of an issue, such as a work-related injury of one of the workers.
  • Contractor tries to bypass permits: If the contractor is willing to take the chance on not getting the proper permits, what else will they try to skirt? Permits are important because they provide a record of the work and some measure of oversight with inspections during the project.
  • Contractor doesn't use high-quality materials: Substandard materials can ruin even the highest quality of work. If you notice that a contractor is using products and materials that don't look like they are suitable for the project, you might be dealing with a shady contractor.
  • Contractor won't sign a contract: A contract protects you and the contractor from problems, should they arise. If the contractor won't sign a contract, walking away is usually best.

Breach of contract in construction law

Construction is a business. Therefore, in exchange for payment, individuals and businesses expect results. This is true of those looking to build a new warehouse as well as homeowners who are simply looking for renovations or new additions. Far too often, though, construction companies fail to live up to expectations. Therefore, those in Sarasota looking to hire a construction company need to carefully consider how best to protect themselves before moving forward. More often than not the best way to do this is to enter into a contract.

As applied in construction law, and in its most basic terms, a contract is simply a bartered for exchange of goods or services. When on party to a contract fails to adhere to the terms of a contract, then the contract has been breached. Those who are on the receiving end of a breach of contract can wind up facing significant losses, which is why they may want to consider taking legal action.

Catastrophic injuries include traumatic brain injuries

Traumatic brain injuries have gotten a lot of attention lately in the context of sports injuries. While those who play sports like football can certainly suffer a brain injury, they are not, by any stretch of the imagination, the only people who suffer from these catastrophic injuries. In fact, individuals in Florida who are involved in car accidents, which encompasses a much wider population than football players, can be at a significant risk of suffering a traumatic brain injury.

As with any other injury, brain injuries can fall on a spectrum of severity. On the more minor end, a brain injury can leave a victim with a headache, nausea, fatigue and loss of balance. It can also affect one's ability to concentrate and remember things, and one may experience changes to one's mood. There may also be light sensitivity, ringing in the ears and changes to one's sense of smell and taste.

Important considerations after a car wreck

The minutes and weeks after a car wreck are often difficult. You have to ensure that you are doing everything you can to heal after the crash, not to mention the legal side of things that include seeking compensation.

Everything you say or do after the wreck can harm or help you. Be mindful of how you communicate. Here are useful tips for handling the impacts of the crash:

  • Contact the police. The police report can provide important information about the crash. Plus, many accidents, including those with injuries or that result in significant property damage, must be reported by law.
  • Seek medical care. Even if you don't think that you are injured, an evaluation is usually a good idea. Sometimes, medical conditions are hidden or might not show symptoms for a few days after the wreck. If you do start to feel anything that isn't normal, head to the doctor.
  • Document the scene. If you can, take pictures of the crash scene. These can show things around the vehicles that may have had an impact on the wreck. It can also help you to explain what happened since you can point things out on the pictures. Get photographs of the vehicles, the scene and any injuries you have.
  • Write out notes. Jot down what you remember about the crash as soon as possible since your memory is fresh. You can even record ways that your injuries are affecting your life.
  • Be careful of what you say. No matter whom you are speaking to after the wreck, don't ever admit fault. Saying that you are sorry for anything related to the accident might be construed as an admission of fault. Be careful not to do this, despite how blurting "I'm sorry" is usually a courteous habit after an unfortunate incident.
  • Act quickly. You have four years to file a claim for personal injury or property damage in Florida. This might seem like a long time, but it will go by quickly. Even though you do need to file your claim as soon as possible, don't rush with respect to any decision about the case.

Nighttime driving tips all drivers should follow

It isn't always possible to drive during the day, but many people don't enjoy driving after dark. When you do have to drive at night, you need to remember to follow basic safety rules. Some drivers neglect to do so. Any driver who is doing things in an unsafe manner can place others at risk of being injured.

Here are some tips that can help you remain safe when driving after daylight had faded:

Dog bite injury threatens life of one-year-old boy

Dogs can be very loving pets. Yet, even though we all think we know our pets, the truth of the matter is that they can turn at any time. When they do, those nearby can be subjected to serious injuries. This can include massive gashes that require stiches, fractures and broken bones that require casts, and deformities that can last a lifetime. This is unacceptable, especially when it is down that a dog in question has shown aggressive tendencies.

One of these vicious dog attacks recently left a one-year-old boy hospitalized. There, a pit bull mauled the boy, leaving him with life-threatening injuries. Reports indicate that the dog was not provoked to attack. The child's family say that the dog belonged to a family member who was visiting the residence at the time of the dog bit. The dog was apparently recently acquired and was considered non-aggressive. The animal was euthanized shortly after this incident.

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