In 2010 the Florida legislature enacted a law that permits parents to sign liability waivers on behalf of their minor children for personal injury during certain activities. However, in order to be enforceable the waiver must STRICTLY COMPLY with Florida law….meaning, there are many ways to screw it up….ah, em, …I mean, to declare such waivers unenforceable because the language, or even the font size, of the release did not follow the letter of the law to a “T”. So… if you know of a child that was injured while participating in an inherently risky activity, do not assume they have no legal redress….contact Marianne Howanitz to review your claim for free and, if need be, let her unleash the “Warrior Within!”.
In continuation of my “EVIDENCE IS KING” thread, I just wanted to alert everybody to the importance of preserving evidence in an accident and injury claim. Even though you may be the innocent victim of someone else’s negligence, when it comes to your day in court, YOU have the burden of proving who’s at fault and what your damages are. The at-fault driver or owner of the car does not have a duty to preserve evidence for you to present your case. The law holds that evidence of an owner of property fixing a dangerous condition after someone is hurt generally CANNOT be used in court to establish that there was a dangerous condition. This is because our society wants to promote property owners fixing dangerous conditions without the fear of it being used against them. So…what do you do? If you or a loved one is injured due to the negligence of another you need to make sure you get an attorney that will aggressively investigate your claim and lock in all of the evidence at the get go. That’s our “lock and load” stage. Whether it’s visiting accident scenes, junk yards, inspecting vehicles, obtaining surveillance videos or tracking down witnesses and getting their statements, we are on it. I give out my cell phone number freely and tell people to put it in their contacts, it’s (352) 441-0113. Don’t hesitate to call me immediately from the accident scene. I want to be there when you need me most. When it comes down to it, you want an attorney that’s not afraid to get “down and dirty” for you!
What’s worse than driving along in your work van and being hit head-on by a garbage truck? When the garbage man lies and says it was your fault! Unfortunately, this exact scenario happened to one of my clients. Good thing for him, my client’s boss was a friend of mine and called me from the scene. I was able to alert them immediately that securing evidence of the resting position of the vehicles involved was critical to proving who was at fault. My friend said fault was obvious but I insisted that he get out his phone and document the scene. A judge once told me, and I have never forgotten, EVIDENCE IS KING.
As an Ocala accident and injury attorney, I never assume people are going to take responsibility for their negligent actions. Unfortunately, I have handled hundreds of cases where the at-fault driver tries to turn the blame to the crash victim. Many times crash victims or their families call me while they are still at the scene of the crash. In those instances I have them take pictures with their cell phones and text or e-mail them to me in my office so I can make sure they are getting all of the angles they need with surrounding landmarks to document the placement of the vehicles, the debris pattern in the road, skid marks, airbag deployment and more. Every crash is different. In this particular case, my friend commented that it was a good thing he took so many pictures at the scene because he could not believe the garbage truck driver tried to deny it was his fault when he was clearly in the oncoming lane. I reminded him that if he didn’t have those pictures it would be a “he said, she said” scenario.
If you or a loved one is injured in a car crash and doesn’t know what to do, feel free to call my office (352) 512-0444 or cell phone immediately at (352) 209-4949 and we’ll talk you through it. Don’t go it alone. Like my client, you now have a friend in the law …. and my digits. Be safe out there!
As you are aware the rainy season is upon us. This makes driving that much more dangerous. Be aware of hydroplaning. This is where your vehicle travels on top of the water and has NO or very little contact with the ground. Here are some safety tips to keep you safer on the roads.
- Be careful during the first few minutes of rainfall, as this is when the rain stirs up oil and other substances that have dried on the road. This forms a film that makes the road extra slippery.
- As you can see from the image, SLOWING DOWN WILL INCREASE YOUR TIRE’S TRACTION ON THE ROAD.
- Avoid driving through puddles and standing water. These are the spots where you’ll be most likely to hydroplane. Try to stay in the center of the road where puddles are less likely to form.
- Make sure your windshield wipers are working properly.
- Turn off cruise control when it starts raining-you’ll be more in tune with the conditions around you.
- To safely get out of a hydroplaning situation let off the gas and steer straight or slightly in the direction you must go. Do not make sudden motions and remain calm.
If you or a loved one are injured in a car crash, call me immediately for your free consultation so that you may know your rights and options. Marianne Howanitz, YOUR #personalinjuryattorney!
We live in a world filled with technological advancements. From the vehicles we drive to the products we use every day, we unconsciously rely on the integrity and expertise of manufacturers we will never meet face-to-face. Much of the time, cars and products live up to our expectations, but when things go wrong, the results can be disastrous.
Every day people are #injured – or even killed – due to the failure or defect of a product. Airbags malfunction, appliances don’t come with proper warnings/instructions and products fail because of shoddy construction or substandard materials. Defective automobile design is a common cause of accidental injury or death.
Manufacturers, and those that sell their products, have a responsibility to meet certain standards of health and safety, to include proper instructions and warnings on a product and to remove potentially dangerous products from the market. When these responsibilities are not met, innocent consumers pay the price. When this happens, the injured party has the right to file a claim for damages. It takes an experienced, knowledgeable attorney to successfully pursue justice in such cases.
Have you or a loved one been injured as a result of a dangerous or #defectiveproduct? It is important that you contact legal counsel as soon as possible. The preservation of evidence needed to prove your claim is of utmost importance and may be lost or destroyed if not preserved immediately. Contact our office today to schedule your free initial consultation.