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Tragedy Faced in Nursing Home After Hurricane Irma

In times of crisis, reliable nursing home care is more crucial than ever. With residents already in need of living assistance, natural disasters only intensify reliance on their caretakers. In the wake of Hurricane Irma, a nursing home tragedy occurred. Although the storm weakened and lessened the damage, the lack of electricity after caused the usual Florida heat to be that much more intensified. Eight Hollywood nursing home residents died after Irma left the building without air conditioning and in sweltering heat. It is devastating to think of the oven-like conditions that the residents had to endure after the severe storm hit Florida. Nursing homes & Adult Living Facilities (ALFs) are legally responsible for the safety of their patients and residents have certain rights and protections to ensure that suitable care and services are provided to them. As South Florida natives, we are no stranger to hurricanes and the subsequent preparations pre- and post-storm. Nursing homes need to have a system in place that ensures all staff and residents will be safe during the storm. Having a working plan to keep residents and patients safe is a requirement for Florida’s licensed health care facilities such as nursing homes, assisted living facilities and hospices. State law requires the facilities’ management plan to include: Risk assessment and planning Policies and procedures Communication plan Training and testing Plans should include things like how people will be evacuated in the case of emergency, plans for food and water, establishing who is in charge during an emergency, etc. It can be emotionally painful and difficult to place a loved one in a nursing home but once...

Car Insurance and Personal Injury Claims

When a personal injury claim is related to an auto accident, car insurance is typically the first line of defense for both injured parties and those legally responsible for the injuries. In most cases, the injured party is able to recover for their injuries simply by filing a claim against the responsible party through the responsible party’s auto insurer. Assuming the responsible party’s insurer pays out and the policy offers enough coverage to pay the claim in full, the process can stop there. Injured parties may also have the option of making a claim for their injuries with their own insurer depending on the coverage they carry. Either way, throwing car insurance into the mix of a personal injury claim can substantially affect the process and outcome of the claim. Understanding Car Liability Coverage Liability coverage is the portion of your policy that pays for other’s injuries in an auto accident that you cause. Liability coverage has several different aspects to it, including property damage you cause to the other party in an at-fault accident. However, the portions relevant to personal injury claims are bodily injury liability limit per person injured, and bodily injury liability limit per accident. Bodily injury per person injured sets a maximum benefit for each party who is injured in an accident you cause, up to the limit of your policy. Bodily injury per accident sets a limit for what the insurer will pay for all the injuries associated with one accident. Where you might run into trouble as a plaintiff or as the responsible party is if your per-person or per-accident limits fail to cover the total...

How to Be Safe During Hurricane Irma

Natural disasters are unfortunately unavoidable but with current forecasts we are lucky enough to know ahead of time and take the necessary precautions to stay safe. With Hurricane Irma’s current projections, the state of Florida might be experiencing winds of 185 mph. It is important to prepare and be knowledgeable on staying as safe as possible. The biggest threat to personal safety is the high winds that can topple trees and cause debris to fly. Heavy rain is also a huge threat because it can cause flash floods and storm surges. If you plan to stay at home during the hurricane, follow these 7 tips to ensure personal safety: Stay inside and away from windows and glass doors. Protect windows with plywood or storm shutters. Secure outside objects. Remove all loose objects surrounding your house. Any patio furniture, backyard décor or barbeques that could be lifted by strong winds should be put away or tied down to avoid any damage to properties or risk personal injury. If flooding threatens a home, turn off your home’s electricity main breaker. Have a secure room available. If the storm passes over your home, stay put in a room without windows. Beware of lightning. Don’t take a bath/shower and refrain from using electrical equipment during the storm. Make sure to have a first aid kit, fuel, food and plenty of water for each member of the household. Evacuate if alerted to do so and know your evacuation routes ahead of time. Hurricanes are very powerful and uncontrollable but you can do your best to prepare for them and prevent personal injuries. Contact us...

Social Media’s Effect on Personal Injury Cases

You already know that your social media profile can affect whether or not you get a job interview and how you appear to friends and family. But if you’re suing for personal injury, your social media profile could get in the way. Any post, no matter how benign it seems, might undermine a personal injury case in very damaging ways. If your profile isn’t private already, log in and make it so now. Social Media Profiles Can Show You’re Healthy If you’re filing a personal injury case after something like a car accident, part of your case is going to be physical trauma your body suffered. You might have mobility issues, broken bones, or other problems that impede your ability to go about life easily. However, sometimes social media pictures make you look healthy or able-bodied. Whether or not the pictures truly show the reality of your situation doesn’t matter. If the judge sees the pictures and feels you’re physically well, your case might get thrown out. That happened to a woman named Fotini Kourtesis, whose social media pictures disproved her personal injury claim. Your Emotional State Might Come Into Play Personal injury cases also often cover mental distress that comes as a result of an accident. You might be suffering from depression, anxiety, or PTSD because of something that happened to you. Things get tricky with social media because someone snapping a photo of a rare smile, or even posting well wishes on your page, could undermine a depression claim. You need good lawyers to help you advise how to deal with your social media profile because they’ll...

Top 4 Largest Personal Injury Settlements on Record

Personal injury cases are no joke. Some people who survive these injuries never regain the quality of life they had before, and many people don’t survive long enough to see a settlement. If money is indicative of wrongdoing, then the damages these plaintiffs earned on personal injury cases show just how difficult their lives became. Though money can’t right the wrongs of a personal injury case, at least the legal system did not fail these plaintiffs. $150 Billion: Robbie Middleton In an astoundingly large personal injury settlement, a Texas jury gave $150 billion to the family of a boy who was badly burned. Robert Middleton, known by the nickname Robbie, was sexually assaulted, then burned by the same person a few weeks later. This happened in 1998, when Robbie was just 8 years old. Twelve years later, after extensive skin treatments because of the third-degree burns over his body, Robbie Middleton died from skin cancer. His family pursued justice, partly to get the county to admit that Robbie was sexually assaulted and to charge the assailant. $4.9 Billion: The Anderson Family In 1993, a Chevy Malibu exploded after being rear-ended. Two adults and four children were in the car when it started to burn. Though the adults escaped, the children were badly injured. One was burned over 70 percent of her body. The family sued GM, and though the award amount was reduced, they walked away with billions. At the time this case was settled in 1999, it was the biggest personal injury award in the country that year. The case lasted for years, though, with initial filing starting...

Settlement Money: Lump Sum or Payments?

Personal injury cases are typically settled with either a lump sum payment or a structured settlement. If you’re owed a significant sum of money, it’s important to understand how these options work. There are pros and cons to each approach. The specifics of your case will help you determine which type of settlement fits your needs best. How Lump Sum Settlements Work A lump sum settlement is the fastest and simplest way to deal with your money. You will receive your total settlement in one payment. After you cash the check, your case is over, and there’s no continued access or interaction with the defendant. This is usually the best option for small-to-medium amounts. For settlements that are less than $150,000, a lump sum payment is the most common choice. How Structured Settlements Work Structured settlements are paid out in a series of smaller payments distributed over time. There are many ways to structure these types of settlements. You will usually get a larger sum in the beginning, followed by smaller amounts paid out monthly, bi-monthly, bi-annually, or annually. However, you can choose to begin with smaller payments that grow gradually or structure the settlement with a brief period of large payments to coincide with a child going to college or another major life event. You will also decide whether payments will continue after your death and go to your heirs for a specified period. The details of these payments are determined when you settle the case. You cannot change your payments later, so it’s crucial that you think through how and when you will use the money so you...

Celebrity Personal Injury Cases

Personal injury cases happen to everyone, including celebrities. Though the parties involved can be tight-lipped about the legal proceedings themselves, news sources still manage to dig up interesting information about these cases. From falling through trapdoors to getting hit with falling backdrops, celebrities and those close to them have suffered some serious injuries in the pursuit of fame. Adrian Bailey vs. Disney In 2008, a cast member of the Broadway performance of “The Little Mermaid” fell through a trapdoor. Adrian Bailey, the injured party, broke his back, pelvis, sternum, wrists, and foot. He said that there weren’t warnings about the trapdoor, which could have prevented him falling through. Lawyers filed several lawsuits, including one against Nicson, the manufacturer of the automated trapdoor, and one against Disney. Nicson was found not liable because “human error” and not a design defect was the reason the trapdoor was open. Brett Michaels vs. CBS In 2011, Brett Michaels, lead singer of the band Poison, sued CBS and the Tony Awards for an injury he sustained during a show in 2009. During the Tony Awards that year, he was exiting the stage at Radio City Music Hall, and a backdrop came down on his head. Michaels ended up with three stitches in his lip and a broken nose. He said that, though he asked for details on how to exit the stage, he didn’t have the right information, which is why the backdrop came down on him. In 2010, Michaels had a brain hemorrhage and felt the 2009 injury was part of the cause. Neither party in the lawsuit would give details about the...

4 Tips for Choosing a Personal Injury Lawyer

If you’ve suffered a personal injury, you need to consider the future. You may soon become saddled with endless medical bills, time off from work, and other financial considerations. Pursuing legal compensation may be necessary, and it’s critical that you select the right attorney. Throwing a dart at the phone book is an easy way to choose, but there are much better ways to proceed. Select a Local Attorney Most people turn to the internet to find just about anything nowadays, so searching for legal help is likely to fall into that category. It’s important that while cyberspace knows no physical boundaries, your future attorney’s license to practice law certainly does. Your search should immediately narrow down to those who are licensed in the state in which the injury occurred. Next, consider only those within driving distance to your place of residence. Face-to-face visits with your legal counsel will be necessary, so you don’t want to travel too far for these meetings. Find an Attorney That Specializes in Personal Injury Law firms practice in several different areas, including criminal law, divorce litigation, child custody, and tax law. Personal injury cases require specific knowledge, such as medical terminology and different types of injuries. Personal injury attorneys typically have ample trial experience, while others (such as real estate attorneys) may have none at all. They’re also good negotiators and can develop a fair out-of-court settlement on your behalf. Choose a Successful Attorney Once you’ve narrowed down your choices a bit, do research into your potential candidates. Find out how many years they’ve been practicing law. What sort of track records do...

How Not to Spend Your Settlement Money

Receiving a settlement is always nice, particularly if you’ve been drowning under medical expenses and other bills. While you may want to spend the money right away for immediate gratification, it’s dangerous to burn through the cash too fast. To make sure the money lasts, avoid these common tendencies when you receive a settlement. Spending Immediately Financial advisors generally suggest waiting six months to a year before spending a large financial settlement. It takes time to plan the best use of a significant sum of money. If you received a lump sum settlement, you may have more money than you’ve ever seen in your account before. Step back and carefully consider your options, as well as the consequences of each choice. An investment will grow your money, but you’ll have to pay taxes on the interest. If you’re undergoing long-term medical treatment for an injury, you may not have a clear picture of your medical expenses or ongoing pain management needs yet. Don’t rush to spend your settlement. Indulging in Dream Purchases With your bank account suddenly swollen, you’re probably thinking about that yacht you’ve always wanted or the dream house on the hill. While there are many smart purchases that are a worthy investment vehicle for your funds, flashy dream-buys are usually an extravagance. Buying a home can give you stability and a good real estate investment, but you shouldn’t purchase a mansion that’s beyond your ordinary means. Remember that large purchases typically come with their own ongoing expenses, such as insurance and upkeep for a boat or household maintenance and property taxes for a home. The wrong...

New Florida Bill May Increase Personal Injury Damages Awards

The Florida Senate currently has a bill involving personal injury and medical bills pending a vote on the floor. Though it hasn’t been passed into law yet, the bill could have ramifications on how much plaintiffs receive in personal injury cases. In short, by changing the structure of the lawsuit and what kind of medical bill information can be admitted into evidence, the bill makes it potentially easier for plaintiffs to see an increase in damages in these cases going forward. Florida Senate Bill 0384 In March of 2017, the Florida Senate Rules Committee voted 10-1 to pass a medical malpractice bill to general voting on the Senate floor. The bill, number 384, faces opposition from the Florida Chamber of Commerce and several prominent businesses in Florida. This bill discusses how to calculate the damages incurred during some medical malpractice and wrongful death suits. Specifics on health and medical care costs will not be admissible as evidence if the bill passes the Florida Senate. What Is Prejudgment Interest? Part of the bill deals with prejudgment interest. Prejudgment interest is damages that the plaintiff gets if they win, and the number is determined when a trial begins. Upon winning, the plaintiff gets that prejudgment interest. Currently, plaintiffs in medical malpractice and wrongful death suits don’t get prejudgment interest. Calculating damages in a medical case is difficult, thanks to the complex nature of the cost of medical treatment and medical bills. How Are Medical Bills Involved? For one thing, medical bills aren’t the same across the board. Different healthcare providers have entirely separate structures for pricing the services they offer. Medical...

The Hollywood injury attorneys at David W. Singer & Associates handle all types of accident injury cases in Hollywood, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Miami-Dade County, Miami Beach, North Miami Beach, North Miami, Aventura, Sunny Isles, Golden Beach, Miami Lakes, Hialeah, Hialeah Gardens, Miami Gardens, Bal Harbour, Bay Harbour, Opa-Locka, Medley, Miami Shores, Cutler Ridge, Kendall, Coral Gables, Homestead, Florida Keys, Key Largo, Islamorada, Key West, Broward County, Hallandale Beach, Pembroke Park, Pembroke Pines, Dania Beach, Davie, Southwest Ranches, Plantation, Weston, Sunrise, Tamarac, Pompano Beach, Lighthouse Point, Coral Springs, Parkland, Margate, Coconut Creek, North Lauderdale, Lauderhill, Miramar, Palm Beach County, Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Boynton Beach, Lake Worth, West Palm Beach, Palm Beach, Manalapan, Hypoluxo, Singer Island, Palm Beach Gardens, Jupiter, Wellington, Martin County, Stuart, St. Lucie County, Port St. Lucie, Vero Beach, Fort Pierce.

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