Slip and Fall Accidents Can Be Costly

Slip and Fall Attorney St. Petersburg FL

Many conditions can cause slips and falls, including pools of water on the floor, uneven flooring, or obstacles in walkways. Depending on the age and physical health of the person who slips and falls, injuries can range from minor cuts and scrapes to broken limbs and, in certain cases, death. The risk of injury from slipping and falling is especially serious for the elderly, as falls are the leading cause of death, injury, and hospital admissions among this population.

Slipping and falling can also be extremely costly. According to the 2017 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index, the annual direct cost of disabling occupational injuries due to slips, trips, and falls was estimated to exceed $18 billion.

Who Is Liable for Slip and Fall Accidents?

While slipping and falling can be costly, you need not shoulder the financial burden of recovery alone if your accident was due to someone else’s negligence. All property and business owners owe visitors the duty to protect them from dangerous conditions, including those that could cause slip and fall accidents. A dangerous condition presents an unreasonable risk to a person on the property, and it must be a condition that the injured party would not have anticipated under the circumstances.

To establish that a property owner knew of a dangerous condition, it must be shown that:

  • The owner created the condition or allowed the condition to occur
  • The owner knew the condition existed and failed to correct it
  • The condition existed for such a length of time that the owner should have discovered and corrected it before the slip and fall incident

To hold a property owner or possessor liable, it must have been foreseeable that his negligence would create danger.

How Much Can You Recover in a Slip and Fall Case?

The goal of awarding damages in a personal injury claim is to make plaintiffs whole—that is, to put them in the same position they would have been in had the accident not occurred. The damages a court will award in a personal injury action are known as compensatory damages. Some examples of compensatory damages in a slip and fall action include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Loss of earnings
  • Loss of future earnings
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Disfigurement or disability

Because these damages are compensatory, the actual dollar amount you could receive in a slip and fall action depends upon how seriously you were injured in the fall—the more severe your injury, the higher your damages award.

Contact a St. Petersburg Slip and Fall Attorney for More Information

Recovery from slip and fall injuries can be extremely expensive. If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, you may recover some of this cost if you can show that the condition that caused your accident was the result of negligence. Contact the personal injury attorneys at Berkowitz & Myer for a free consultation by calling (727) 344-0123.

The Importance of a Proper Brain Injury Diagnosis

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that about 1.7 million individuals sustain traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) each year in the United States. However, these are only the brain injuries that are diagnosed by medical professionals. There may be thousands more TBI victims who never receive a proper diagnosis because they never visit an emergency department, urgent care, or doctor’s office after their injury. Getting a timely brain injury diagnosis is vitally important to make sure you receive the treatment you need. Without a diagnosis, many complications can develop and the following is some information about why you should always seek medical attention if you suspect you may have any degree of a brain injury.

How Brain Injuries Occur

The first step to knowing when you should seek medical care is to recognize when an accident or incident happened that may result in a TBI. First, anytime you hit your head or are hit in the head by an object, there is the potential that your brain tissue has been damaged. In addition, you don’t actually have to suffer a direct blow to the head to sustain a brain injury. In some situations, the brain can shake inside the skull and become damaged simply because your head snaps sharply on your neck or if you are near an explosion.

Some examples of incidents that may cause a TBI include:

  • Hits in contact sports
  • Falls
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Bicycle accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Assaults

If you were in any type of accident and your head was affected, you should be evaluated for a possible TBI.

Consequences of Delayed Diagnosis or No Diagnosis

All brain injuries – from concussions to severe TBIs – can have a variety of effects on your functioning. Depending on where the injury is located in the brain, it can hinder your cognitive, behavioral, emotional, or physical functioning. Many people who are not diagnosed may not have an explanation for their struggles with information processing, memory, balance, communication, emotional control, and other symptoms. This can be frustrating and can affect your work, school, and personal life.

More seriously, brain injury victims not treated and monitored can experience serious complications that if not identified and addressed, may be permanently disabling or deadly. Such complications can include:

  • Hemorrhaging
  • Excessive intracranial pressure
  • Second impact syndrome
  • Developing cognitive disorders after numerous concussions

Without a diagnosis, a person may not be aware of the risks they are taking when they continue to engage in activities that may result in subsequent brain injuries. They also may not have the proper monitoring to prevent treatable complications of their TBI.

Call Our St. Petersburg Personal Injury Attorney for More Information

A proper medical diagnosis for any injury is also critical if you are able to seek compensation from a negligent party who caused your accident. At the law firm of Berkowitz & Myer, we advise clients in and around St. Petersburg regarding their legal rights after a personal injury and what they can do to protect those rights. If you have been injured, call today at 727-344-0123 for a free consultation.

Long-Term Effects of Brain Injuries

Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney FloridaLong-Term Effects of Brain Injuries

Current statistics show that almost 1.5 million people in the United States suffer from traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) of varying degrees on an annual basis. In fact, every 21 seconds, someone in America sustains a traumatic brain injury.

TBIs can occur as a result of a car, truck, pedestrian, boat, slip-and-fall, or other accident, and may range from mild to severe. The recovery time for a traumatic brain injury usually depends on the circumstances under which the victim sustained it. In some cases, the accident victim can suffer lifelong injuries and impairments.

If you or someone you care about sustained a TBI in an accident that another’s negligence caused, you may pursue monetary compensation. Let the experienced personal injury lawyers at Berkowitz & Myer help you today.

Likely Causes of Serious Brain Injuries

A person usually sustains a brain injury when the head suffers a strong external force, causing the brain to strike the inside of the skull. The result damages the brain’s internal “wiring,” leading to short or long-term cognitive impairments.

Long-Term Brain Injury Symptoms

Although the majority of brain injuries are mild or moderate, severe ones can cause serious long-term symptoms, including:

  • Seizures
  • Slurred speech
  • Permanent loss of memories
  • Inability to smell or taste
  • Mood swings
  • Fits of temper
  • Permanent disorientation and confusion
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Permanent comas or vegetative states

Seeking Treatments for Traumatic Brain Injuries

Serious accidents and impacts harm each person’s brain in different ways—oftentimes depending on the accident victim’s age and pre-injury ability levels. Consequently, health care providers may have difficulty accurately predicting or assessing recovery times, which can vary significantly from person to person.

Given these uncertainties, follow up at a hospital emergency room or urgent care facility as soon as possible after sustaining a head injury in your accident. Delaying your treatment can only make a bad situation worse.

Proving Damages in Brain Injury Cases

Brain injuries can cause significant, lifelong damage. You, however, may recover monetary compensation if you can show that your brain injury directly resulted from the accident. To do this, you need to provide medical evidence that the accident caused your injury.

Potential damages in a brain injury case can include compensation for medical bills and lost wages, pain, and suffering, economic losses, loss of ability to function, loss of earning capacity, emotional distress, and loss of spousal support.

Contact a St. Petersburg, Florida, Brain Injury Attorney Today for a Free Initial Consultation and Case Evaluation

If you or someone you love sustained a brain injury in an accident caused by someone else, you may pursue monetary compensation. The personal injury lawyers at Berkowitz & Myer can evaluate your case and may litigate it through the Florida court system, if necessary.

To schedule a free initial consultation or case evaluation with a St. Petersburg brain injury lawyer, please call us today at (727) 344-0123 or contact us online.

Operating Any Type of Vehicle While Drunk is Dangerous

St. Petersburg Drunk Driving Accident Attorney

Operating Any Type of Vehicle While Drunk is Dangerous

Safety advocacy group Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) reports that an estimated 300,000 people drive drunk every day in the United States. When you think about driving drunk, you likely first think about someone getting behind the wheel of their passenger car to drive home after having too many drinks. However, it is important to recognize that operating any type of vehicle – not just cars – is extremely dangerous while impaired. It is also important to remember that anyone operating anything while drunk can cause a serious accident that causes you injury.

The following is some information about the effects of drunk drivers behind the wheel of different vehicles in Florida:

  • Cars – The majority of drunk drivers are behind the wheel of traditional passenger vehicles. No matter what size car they may be driving, however, there is still the chance for such drivers to cause devastating and often fatal crashes with other motorists.
  • Commercial trucks – Commercial vehicles can weigh up to 80,000 pounds and often dwarf other vehicles on the road. When a semi-truck crashes into a smaller car, it can cause catastrophic damage and injury so commercial drivers are held to a very high standard of safety. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and most states have stricter standards when it comes to the legal limit for blood alcohol content (BAC) for commercial drivers. Instead of the usual 0.08 percent, commercial drivers may not operate trucks above 0.04 percent because it is so risky to do so.
  • Motorcycles or bicycles – Both motorcycles and bicycles require a driver to have specific balance and control – both of which can be affected by drinking. Having an intoxicated passenger on a motorcycle can also lead to loss of balance and control. In addition, operators of these vehicles should have an increased awareness of their surroundings so they can share the road with cars and trucks and help to ensure that other drivers are aware of them. When a motorcyclist or bicyclist is impaired, they may be less careful and may violate traffic rules more easily, leading to crashes.
  • Boats – Boating under the influence is against the law in Florida, however, many people continue to do so on a daily basis. Many people think that drinking and being on the water go hand-in-hand—even for the person operating the boat. Drunk boating can lead to crashes, water sports accidents, and often to tragic drownings.

Call Our St. Petersburg Drunk Driving Accident Attorneys for More Information Today

Drunk drivers should be held fully accountable for all of the damages and injuries they cause—no matter what type of vehicle they were operating. While they may face criminal charges, the criminal system is generally inadequate to ensure that injured victims are properly compensated for their losses. The drunk driving accident lawyers at Berkowitz & Myer in St. Petersburg stand up for the rights of accident victims and can handle every step of the legal process. Please call our office at 727-344-0123 or contact us online for a free consultation today.

Different Ways to Resolve Florida Accident Claims

Personal Injury Attorney FloridaDifferent Ways to Resolve Florida Accident Claims

In many personal injury car and truck accident cases, you may need to file a lawsuit get the ball rolling. However, merely filing a lawsuit in the Florida court system does not necessarily guarantee that your case will—or should—go to trial. In fact, most personal injury cases settle long before trial.

In addition to settlements, other types of alternative dispute resolution measures for personal injury claims include mediation and arbitration.

The experienced St. Petersburg personal injury lawyers at Berkowitz & Myer can review the facts of your case and may help you reach a resolution via settlement, alternative dispute resolution, or, if necessary trial.

Settling Personal Injury Cases

Most personal injury cases settle before trial. Settlement negotiations usually occur between the plaintiff’s attorney and the at-fault party’s insurance company adjuster (or defense attorney). The process usually begins when the plaintiff’s attorney makes an initial demand for a settlement and the insurance adjuster comes back with an initial offer. Negotiations usually continue until the parties reach a settlement agreement or an impasse.

Litigating a Personal Injury Case

If the insurance company and the injured plaintiff cannot agree on an acceptable settlement offer, they can litigate the personal injury case through the Florida court system. Once a lawsuit is filed, written and oral discovery takes place, then the parties may attend a settlement conference or mediation proceeding. During mediation, a neutral, third-party mediator—usually a lawyer or retired judge—will work with the parties to try to amicably resolve the claim.

Instead of—or in addition to—mediation, the parties may agree to binding or non-binding arbitration, during which monetary parameters are set and the parties informally try their cases in front of the arbitrator. The arbitrator then makes a decision in the case. In binding arbitration, the arbitrator’s decision is final and may not be appealed.

Personal Injury Jury Trials

If the parties cannot agree to settle the case—and if other alternative dispute resolution methods have failed (or are unavailable)—the last recourse is usually a jury trial. Personal injury jury trials can be long, stressful, and expensive. In most cases, parties should only try personal injury cases as an absolute last resort. During a jury trial, the jurors must unanimously decide your case and determine what compensation to which you are entitled if any.

Going to trial can be extremely risky. A St. Petersburg personal injury lawyer can help you decide whether you should settle your case, pursue alternative dispute resolution methods such as mediation or arbitration, or take the risk of going to trial.

Contact a St. Petersburg Personal Injury Lawyer Today for a Free Initial Consultation and Case Evaluation

If you sustained injuries in a car or truck accident, there are many ways of recovering monetary compensation under Florida law. The personal injury lawyers at Berkowitz & Myer can evaluate your case and help you explore all of your legal options.

To schedule a free initial consultation or case evaluation with a St. Petersburg personal injury lawyer, please call us today at (727) 344-0123 or contact us online.

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