Frequently Asked Questions

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  • Should I Call an Attorney Even if I want to Handle My Own Bicycle Accident Case?

    Absolutely. I can advise you on crucial time limits and how to talk with your insurance adjuster without harming your claim. Settling a personal injury claim can be very complicated. I’m always happy to help fellow cyclists recover for your injuries or for the damage to your bike, even if you choose not to hire me. I’ll even send you information to help you understand what’s involved in settling your own case.

    Have You Been Injured In A Bicycle Accident?

    If you've been hurt in a Florida bicycle accident you should speak with an experienced bicycle injury lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our office directly at 727.446.0840 to schedule your free, no obligation consultation.

    Here are some other questions you might have about your cycling accident:

    Why is it Important to Hire an Experienced Cycling Accident Lawyer?

    If I Hire You as My Lawyer for My Bicycle Accident, Will It Cost Me Money Up Front?

    Will I Talk to a Lawyer if I Call Your Law Office?

  • Will I Actually Talk to an Attorney When I Call Your Office?

    Absolutely. When you initially call, you’ll speak to someone from our terrific support staff and they will take down your information for me. If I’m out of the office or not able to talk to you immediately, they will set a time for us to talk later that day or the next day at the latest.

    Have You Been Injured In A Bicycle Accident?

    If you've been hurt in a Florida bicycle accident you should speak with an experienced bicycle injury lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our office directly at 727.446.0840 to schedule your free, no obligation consultation.

    Here are some other questions you might have about your cycling accident:

    Why is it Important to Hire an Experienced Cycling Accident Lawyer?

    If We Meet at My House to Discuss My Cycling Accident Case, Who will Come?

    How Long Does it Take to Settle a Bicycle Accident Claim?

  • So Your Lawyer Insists on You Seeing Their Doctor… Is this a Good Idea?

    It is common for people injured in accidents to be confused and not know where to get help. Many times they run to an attorney before seeing a doctor. Some believe it is best for their case if a lawyer sends them to “their lawyer’s” doctor.

    It’s really not, let me tell you why.

    The law in Florida has always provided that if a witness is shown to be biased it can damage his or her believability even if they may be telling the truth. In a case decided in 2014 the court expanded the ability to look into the potential for bias in doctor/lawyer relationships during a case.

    The court reasoned that lawyers in a civil suit have a limited ability to look into how much money an expert has been paid by the party who hired them. But the rules do not prevent discovery of potential bias of the witness.

    This allows attorneys to investigate potential bias of treating doctors by looking into direct referrals to and from law firms including the percentage of income the doctor earned from the relationship.

    The theory behind this is that a physician’s financial stake in treating patients referred by law firms could create a bias to provide favorable testimony for their patients so the physician gets more referrals from law firms.

    While many attorneys have a long list of objectives and well trained doctors they could recommend to you without harming your case, you must be wary of attorneys that insist on helping you find treatment or will not take your case unless you use their doctors. This kind of “service” can kill the value of your case if it turns out every case the lawyer gets is referred to a certain doctor.

    If your lawyer insists on you only seeing “their doctor,” beware.

  • What are the Most Common Ways Cyclists are Forced Off the Road?

    There are three different ways this can happen.

    Probably the most common way a cyclist is forced off the road is by a driver who collides with them, but stops and remains at the scene of the accident.

    The second way it happens is when a vehicle strikes a cyclist but does not stop. This is what we refer to as a hit-and-run accident. People leave the scene after causing an accident for many reasons. Often times, the driver does not have a valid license, he or she has been drinking and wants to avoid a DUI, or already has a warrant out for his or her arrest.

    Fleeing the scene after an accident in which the cyclist was injured is a cowardly thing to do. The driver may be the only person who knows the cyclist has been hurt. When they fail to call for help, they put the cyclist’s life in danger. It is also a felony in Florida.

    There are also crashes caused by phantom vehicles. That would describe a driver who comes so close to a cyclist that the rider is forced off the road to avoid a collision and the driver keeps going. It is almost as if the driver were never there, hence the term ‘phantom vehicle.’ These accidents can be fairly tricky to handle because the driver may not realize that he or she caused an accident and can be difficult to locate.

    Anyone that suffers a serious injury as a result of any of these types of collisions should contact an experienced bicycle lawyer to understand what can be done to seek compensation for your injuries and have your medical bills paid.

    Have You Been Injured In A Bicycle Accident?

    If you've been hurt in a Florida bicycle accident you should speak with an experienced bicycle injury lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our office directly at 727.446.0840 to schedule your free, no obligation consultation.

  • What are the Penalties for Hit and Run Drivers in Florida?

    In 2014 the Florida legislature stiffened the penalties for drivers who flee the scene of an accident involving an injury. The new law was the result of the outcry after the death of Aaron Cohen, a cyclist, who was killed by a hit and run driver in Miami in 2012.

    The law created increased penalties for someone convicted of leaving the scene of an accident in which someone was injured. There are four levels of penalty:

    • First, fleeing from an accident with injury which is not serious bodily injury is punishable by up to five years in prison (a third degree felony).
    • Second, if the victim suffered serious bodily injury, the penalty is increased to up to fifteen years (a second degree felony).
    • Third, if the victim was killed, the penalty increases to up to thirty years of incarceration (a first degree felony) and there is a four year mandatory minimum sentence.
    • Fourth, if the driver was driving under the influence at the time, they are subject to a four year mandatory minimum sentence as well.

    The law also imposes requirements for restitution to the victim or their family and a required driver’s license suspension.

    These enhanced penalties are designed to give the sentencing judge greater discretion to impose longer jail time after a conviction, especially when there are aggravating circumstances involved.

    If you have questions about a hit and run injury accident in Florida we would be happy to help you. 

    Have You Been Injured In A Car Accident?

    If you've been hurt in Florida car accident you should speak with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our office directly at 727.446.0840 to schedule your free, no obligation consultation.

  • What are the Most Common Misconceptions About Car Accidents in Pinellas & Hillsborough Counties?

    Many people believe they know how to avoid an accident by driving at certain times or being extra careful in certain places. The truth is, you never know when someone else is going to doze off behind the wheel or decide to send a text message instead of watch the road. You have to stay alert the entire time you are driving your car, riding your bike or walking near the street.

    Myth: Most accidents are caused by drunk drivers.
    Truth: Less than 7% of all crashes in Pinellas County involved alcohol impairment. However, 46% of all fatal crashes in the county were a result of intoxication. So, while most accidents are caused by sober drivers, nearly half of all deadly accidents involved alcohol intoxication or drug impairment.

    Myth: The elderly community is responsible for the dangerous roads.
    Truth: Only 11% of crashes in Pinellas involved people ages 65 or older, but drivers aged 15 to 34 were involved in almost 30% of accidents. Although the elderly are an at risk population of drivers, their decreased mobility keeps them driving less as they adapt their driving pattern to accommodate their limitations.

    Myth: Most severe accidents occur at low speeds and close to home.
    Truth: Accidents occur within 5 miles of the driver’s home. That being said, over 75% of severe crashes in Hillsborough County occurred on roads with posted speed limits of 45 miles per hour or greater. What does this tell us? Although the drivers may have been ‘close to home’, these accidents weren’t little fender benders inside the subdivision. A vehicle moving at 45 mph can cause a lot of damage and is surely not moving at a law speed.

    Myth: If you don’t feel any pain at the time of the accident, you are injury free.
    Truth: Often, people leave the scene of an accident pain free. Once the shock wears off and the adrenaline in your body returns to normal levels, the pain may start to kick in. Some injuries, like whiplash or neck and back pain, may not be apparent immediately. It may take a few days to feel your injuries. In fact, certain injuries get worse with time as they go untreated. If you are involved in an auto accident, you should seek treatment from a medical professional immediately to determine whether you have any injuries.

    Myth: Morning rush hour is the deadliest time to be on the road.
    Truth: Most fatal crashes in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties occur at night, a shocking number considering less than 30% of all crashes occur at night.

    Request our free Glove Box Accident Kit today. It includes all the information you need to be prepared for an accident. We have more free literature available here.

    Have You Been Injured In A Car Accident?

    If you've been hurt in Florida car accident you should speak with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our office directly at 727.446.0840 to schedule your free, no obligation consultation.

  • What If a Minor is Served Alcohol and Injures or Kills Someone in a DUI Crash?

    It is considered common knowledge that it is illegal to serve alcohol to a minor. Florida has strict laws against serving alcohol to a minor and outlines who is financially responsible if something happens. But regardless of the law and what we know to be right, minors still find ways to consume alcohol. Sometimes parents do it thinking it is harmless fun. Sometimes a store owner sells alcohol to a minor without realizing it.

    Under Florida law a bar owner, alcohol vendor, or homeowner who gives or sells alcohol to someone underage may be held liable if the individual is involved in an accident and kills or injures someone.

    It is illegal for a minor to drive with a blood alcohol level of as little as 0.02. These BAC levels are based on a zero-tolerance policy for underage drinking that makes it a criminal DUI offense for drivers under the age of 21 to drive while under the influence. That means that even one small glass of wine could put a minor over the 0.02 level.

    Florida has a criminal statute, the “Open House Party” law, which states that it is a misdemeanor to provide alcohol to minors at a residence. The purpose of the law is to protect innocent people who are injured or die in a crash caused by a minor who was served alcohol at someone’s house. Depending upon whether the minor hurts or kills anyone as a result of being served alcohol, the offense could lead to up to one year in jail for the person who provided the alcohol.

    Florida’s law is designed to deter underage drinking and dissuade those who may be willing to provide alcohol to a minor. Parental responsibility is vital to educating and protecting young drivers against the dangers of driving while under the influence. For more information regarding DUI crashes and underage drinking, request a free copy of our Florida DUI Crash Victim Guide or give us a call at 727-446-0840. We have helped victims and their families through their experiences with death and injury caused by drunk drivers. Let us help you.

    Have You Or A Loved One Been Injured By A Drunk Driver?

    If you or a loved one has been injured by a drunk driver you should speak with an experienced drunk driver injury attorney as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our office directly at 727.446.0840 to schedule your free, no obligation consultation.

  • The Driver Who Ran into Me Didn’t Get a Ticket, Do I Have a Case?

    It’s pretty common for people to assume the police must ticket the other driver in order to have a case against them. Don’t fall into that trap. It doesn’t matter whether the police wrote a citation to them or not. We’ve brought many accident claims for people who were seriously injured where no ticket was issued.

    What’s most important is what the other driver did to cause the crash. Were they speeding? Did they violate your right of way or fail to stop in time? Did they drive carelessly? Having an independent witness who will describe how the other driver caused the accident helps even more.

    For example, let’s say you were in a car accident in Florida and the driver who caused it was not ticketed. You can still bring an injury claim against them. Proof the driver was ticketed is not part of a claim. In fact, if an accident case has to be tried in front of a jury, they will not be told whether the driver did or didn’t get the ticket. This is because it’s the jury’s job to decide if someone was negligent or at fault in causing the accident. What a police officer decided is not part of the case. Juries have to make their decision without being influenced by what a police officer thought.

    Have You Been Injured In A Car Accident?

    If you've been hurt in Florida car accident you should speak with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our office directly at 727.446.0840 to schedule your free, no obligation consultation.

  • Should I Hire a Small Law Firm or a Big Firm to Handle My Accident Case?

    I met with a potential new client recently to talk about her accident case. After talking a while, she said she had already met with a lawyer at a big law firm in town. Then, she asked an interesting question I am always more than happy to answer.

    “Why should I hire a small law firm instead of a large firm?” I answered without hesitation.

    First of all, I asked her if the big firm had offered to give her any free information about how an accident case works. "No, I didn't get any information from them," she said, "but I remember you answered lots of questions when I first called your office. Then, I went to your website and saw all your videos and felt like I knew you before we met and when I first came to your office I was given a copy of your book, Five Mistakes That Can Wreck Your Florida Accident Case, along with some other useful information – this was all before I had even decided to hire you.”

    I said “I know you interviewed with a big firm but do you know which lawyer and paralegal would be handling your case there?” She told me that while she had met with a lawyer, she had no idea which paralegal she would be dealing with or if she would have the same one throughout her case. By now, she knew she would be dealing with me as her lawyer in addition to my paralegal of 27 years and when she called the office; she would never be asked “how do you spell your name." I assured her my paralegal knows every client and the daily status of their case and she responds to calls and emails immediately, not the next day or week. 

    "If you want to be another fish in the big firm’s pool," I told her," I'm sure you'll be happy with them. Our practice also consists of an experienced team, beyond what you see in the office, to assist in evaluating, litigating and settling our client’s cases, while giving you the personal attention your case deserves.”

    The client went on to hire us and recently mentioned how extremely happy she was with her decision.

  • Can a Cyclist have a Case Against the Driver in a Crash if the Cyclist was Given the Ticket?

    The short answer is yes. Remember, the police do not investigate a cycling crash the same way as an injury lawyer does. Police look for who was mostly at fault and whether they violated some traffic infraction or other law. A lawyer will look for every argument the driver was partly or even mostly to blame in causing the crash or contributing to it, even if the police cited the cyclist. Never take the police report or the opinion of the investigating police officer at face value without having it evaluated by an experienced attorney.

    Here are some other questions you might have about your cycling accident:

    Why is it Important to Hire an Experienced Cycling Accident Lawyer?

    How Do I Prove My Florida Bicycle Injury Case?

    Have You Been Injured In A Bicycle Accident?

    If you've been hurt in a Florida bicycle accident you should speak with an experienced bicycle injury lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our office directly at 727.446.0840 to schedule your free, no obligation consultation.