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Civil wrongful death lawsuits can be filed in Florida by the family members of an individual who died as the result of someone else’s negligence. It is mandatory that the death occurred as a result of someone else’s fault.  In a wrongful death lawsuit, Florida law mandates that a cause of action must be brought within two (2) years rather than four (4) as in a personal injury case.  If a loved one has passed away due to the negligence or carelessness of another, do not delay, call now. I can help you.

Wrongful Death Cases in Florida

The state of Florida records a large number of personal injury accidents every year and a significant percentage of these are accidental deaths. Some of the most common causes of wrongful death are vehicle accidents that result in one or more fatalities. Car accidents are a leading cause of death throughout the state.

 

Driver negligence is an important element in all vehicle accidents including drunk driving or driving under the influence of drugs, reckless driving and even drowsy driving.

 

Other causes for wrongful death accidents in Florida include accidents that involve semi-trucks or commercial vehicles, machinery-related accidents, toxic exposure or fire deaths. Medical malpractice wrongful death is another example, including surgical errors, failure to diagnose or failure to provide the needed/adequate treatment.

 

The burden of proof (the need to show that the other driver, person or entity was negligent) falls on the Plaintiff and in Wrongful Death claims, is brought by the Personal Representative of the Estate of the deceased person.

 

Compensation in Wrongful Death Cases

The types of compensation awarded in Wrongful Death cases are monetary and include medical and burial expenses. Survivors are also entitled to compensation for non-economic damages such as loss of support, services, companionship and protection as well as mental pain and suffering.

 

Do you know someone who recently lost a family member due to wrongful death? Remember that time is of the essence and even though the family is grieving and it may be the last thing on their mind, you could help by getting in contact with us so we may begin preserving evidence and preparing their case.  The loss of a loved one is difficult and while I can’t ease their sorrow,  I can help them find justice!

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So you’re ready to “head out on the highway, looking for adventure” (showing my age there!) this summer?  Independent women are more and more finding themselves traveling our country’s roads alone for pleasure.  While it is wildly thrilling to be the only one in the car, singing along to your personal playlist, and stopping only when you want, where you want, I want to make sure you stay safe out there my friend!  Below are my Top 10 Safety Tips for Single Women on Road Trips.

  1. Take your car to the auto shop first—Before starting out on any road trip, always take your car in for service. Make sure your car is “road ready,” and that your oil is changed, tires are in good shape, antifreeze and the heater all working and there is not a lot of junk in your trunk (stop snickering). Start out fresh and clean!
  2. Always let someone know where you are—Though you may enjoy the freedom of feeling “lost” on the highway, it’s always best to check in with a family member or friend so someone always knows where to find you.  Texting is a quick and easy way to share your whereabouts, just not while you are driving. Sending a selfie of you in front of significant landmark signs can be fun, too.
  3. Notify credit card companies—Some credit card companies will block your card if they see “suspicious” activity like continuous gas charges. Inform companies that you will be traveling so they do not cut off your credit and leave you stranded without easy access to money. This happened to me!
  4. Keep cell phone charged—Before you start out on the road each day, charge your cell phone so it is ready for use in case of emergencies. You can also buy a portable battery to extend the phone’s life in case there is not a charger handy or use a car charger.
  5. Listen to weather reports—Be aware of the weather conditions where you are traveling and prepare accordingly. Many times, I have had to pull off to the side of a road and wait for a storm to pass. Be safe and be prepared.
  6. Always have maps and know how to read them—GPS systems may not always be reliable; carry current road atlases with you and know how to read them as a backup resource. Trace out alternative routes. Always have a Plan B route figured out in case your original highway choices are closed or backed up with traffic.
  7. Stop at places that are busy and well-lit—Look for locations that have other people around. Do not stop at deserted, dark places. It’s always a good idea to look like you know where you are and where you are going. If you have to ask for directions, casually ask employees at the establishment instead of random strangers. Be careful of walking and using your phone, these unaware moments can sometimes present opportunities for crime.
  8. Don’t stop for someone stranded on the side of the road—Though you may feel compelled to assist someone in trouble, if you’re alone, don’t stop unless you are sure it’s safe. It’s always a good idea to get to a safe place first and then call for help for the stranded driver, dialing 911 is helping out enough.
  9. Should your car break down, keep windows rolled up and do not open the door to strangers who stop to “assist” you. Make sure you have a current roadside assistance plan and contact them to come out to help you. Ask to see their ID for the service before getting out of the car when they arrive.
  10. And last, but certainly not least, do not pick up strangers—Do not offer rides or agree to share a room with anyone you don’t know. Though you may think the person you are helping is harmless, you can never fully know someone’s true intentions after just a few minutes of conversation. It’s hard to get rid of someone later, so don’t get into this situation by picking them up in the first place.

Hope this was helpful.  Now, go hit the road and have some fun adventure time!

YOUR #ocalaaccidentattorney,

Marianne Howanitz

www.ocalaaccidentlaw.com

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The more information your attorney has about your case, the more quickly and completely you can be compensated for your medical expenses and pain and suffering. Documenting accidents, site situations, and road conditions has proven priceless in dealing with and settling claims.  It has often changed the outcome of resulting lawsuits and helped establish just settlements.

To ensure a complete, speedy resolution to your case, make sure your lawyer has all the information and documentation he needs to pursue a settlement. If the accident happened a while ago that information may include:

  • Your vehicle, insurance, and driver’s license information.
  • Details of the accident, including:
    • Date, time, location.
    • Weather and traffic conditions.
    • Information about other vehicles, drivers and passengers.
    • Names and contact information for witnesses and copies of any accident or incident reports filed.
    • Any pictures you have taken at the scene. Sometimes the law enforcement officer takes pictures, make sure to get copies of those, also.
  • Copies of traffic tickets writtenat the scene and information about any charges brought against drivers involved, including DUI charges.
  • Physician reportand medical records related to the accident.
  • X-rays and test results related to injuriesfrom the accident.
  • Information about pre-existing conditionsor injuries that may have been exacerbated by the accident.
  • Record of expensesfor ongoing medications, treatment, and therapies.
  • Any other expenses incurred because of the accident, including transportation costs.
  • Documentation of days, hours and wages lostbecause of the accident.
  • Copies of all correspondencewith insurance companies related to the accident.

It is always helpful to keep a personal injury diary to note appointments, expenses, contacts with the insurance company and your general feelings and medical condition following the accident. Also, keep track of your medical mileage for re-imbursement.

Keep your attorney up to date and let them know about new doctor visits, Radiology visits or surgeries that you have scheduled.  An email to paralegal is usually sufficient so they can get updated records.

Stay safe out there friends!

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Halloween is a magical time when you are a child.  Getting to stay outside after dark, dressing up, the prospect of candy and scary (but not too scary) trick-or-treaters you might run into, all make for some high excitement.  Children aren’t very safety aware at the best of times, on Halloween they are even more distracted.  Protect the many little ghosts and goblins coming to your house, and yourself from potential lawsuits, with these easy safety tips tomorrow.

  • Replace burned out lights to welcome trick-or-treaters with your porch lights and any exterior lights on.
  • Tidy up your yard. Make sure you remove things trick-or-treaters could trip over such as garden hoses, bikes and lawn decorations. Clear the sidewalks to avoid slip and falls or trip and falls.
  • Most likely, the number of people in costumes will frighten your pet(s). Keep your pets away from the door and take no chances they might bite a child.
  • If you are driving on Halloween, be sure to observe the streets for foot traffic. Be on the alert for excited youngsters, whose vision may be obscured by masks, darting out into traffic. Pedestrian accidents are always traumatic for all involved, not just the pedestrian.  Hitting a child is certainly one of the worst nightmares of drivers.

Remember to be safe out there!

This week is National Child Passenger Safety Week and I will be addressing this important issue over the next several blogs.

Stranger Danger, Crossing the Street and Pool Safety are just a few of the things we as parents are concerned about when raising our children.  However, the sad truth is, more children die every year from injuries sustained in a car accident than from any other cause. The US Department of Transportation (DOT) recently published a study analyzing the statistics surrounding children and car accidents. Some of the data you might expect: For instance, children are around ten times more likely to suffer incapacitating injuries in a rollover crash as in any other kind of accident. However, other findings were more surprising.

According to the National Highway Safety Administration head injuries were the most common type of injury suffered by children in car accidents, closely followed by damage to the chest and lungs. Children over the age of one were more likely to have cuts, bruises, and fractures of the head, while children under the age of one usually sustained concussions. These types of injuries have particularly serious impacts on children because of their skeletal development, and can cause effects ranging from reading disabilities and developmental delay to paralysis and psychological disorders.

After any collision it is vitally important to have your child checked out by a physician within the first 14 days, otherwise you may not receive the total $10,000 in PIP benefits that you pay for.

Accident or injury? Call Marianne Howanitz for your free consult to know your rights.

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