Brandon Stein Law: Florida Lost Wage Claim Through PIP

Brandon Stein

By: Brandon Stein

If you or someone you know was injured in a car accident, contact our Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyers today.

Being a Fort Myers personal injury lawyer that sues for car accidents, I frequently come across clients that use injuries from an accident as an excuse for not working.  In Florida, Personal Injury Protection (“PIP”) benefits provide for compensation from your car insurance company for time missed from work due to a car accident.  According to Florida law, the insurance company may award 60% of the total lost wages as a result of the car accident.    However, these available PIP benefits may not and should not be used as a “get out of jail free card.”

While insurance companies in Florida are required to provide PIP benefits for injuries resulting from a car accident, Naples personal injury lawyers certainly understand that these benefits are not given out like Halloween candy.  This is especially the case when auto insurance companies are requested to cut checks for clients claiming lost wages from a car accident.  Insurance agencies such as Geico or State Farm employ specialized claims representatives to handle these PIP requests.

More times than not, when your North Miami Beach car accident lawyer calls the insurance company to inquire into your PIP claim, he or she would be transferred to a PIP adjuster.  These PIP adjusters evaluate every facet of the claim and especially value the medical notes from an injured client’s treatment.

When it comes to raising a claim for lost wages with your PIP insurance carrier, it is very important that your medical records indicate your inability to work.  Essentially, most, if not all, PIP adjusters will not even consider a lost wage claim unless they see language written in the medical record specifying that the injured person cannot work as a result of the car accident.  As a Coral Springs car accident lawyer, it makes my job extremely difficult, and quite frankly, impossible, to seek recovery for lost wages if this language is not included within a client’s medical record.  Ultimately, this language must indicate that the client injured from the car accident cannot work for a certain time period.

For example, I recently successfully resolved a car accident case where a client was injured and sought medical treatment immediately.  Unfortunately, my injured client was unable to work and sought to raise a lost wage claim with her PIP insurance carrier, State Farm, for her time missed from work.  Naturally, we had submitted the claim to State Farm.  With respect to this lost wage claim, I knew to include my client’s medical records that specified the time that she had missed work. Naturally, once State Farm received this information, no further questions were asked and a freshly cut check made payable to my client was sent to her attention immediately.

Long story short, without medical records supporting your lost wage claim, it nearly becomes impossible to prove and recover your lost wages as a result of the injuries from the car accident.

Injured in an accident?  Contact our Florida personal injury lawyers today.

Brandon Stein Law: A Million Dollar Case Needs a Million Dollar Injury

Brandon Stein

By: Brandon Stein

If you or someone you know was injured in a slip and fall or car accident, contact our Fort Lauderdale lawyers today.

As a Fort Myers personal injury lawyer, clients injured in car accidents or slip and falls frequently expect to become millionaires and retire off of their case.  Unfortunately, the only way to become a millionaire off of a personal injury case in Florida is when the injury is devastating and severe.  Of no fault of the injured client, they frequently come to see a personal injury lawyer to see how much they can recover from a settlement.  This is not a problem, but can escalate into a problem if the lawyer does not handle the situation properly.

For Naples personal injury lawyers that help those injured from car accidents or slip and falls, managing a client’s expectations for settlement begins before even signing up the case.  It is extremely important to give a prospective client an education on how the personal injury litigation process works.  While some people unfortunately continue to find themselves entrenched within the civil litigation system, most injured clients do not have the slightest idea of how a personal injury case works.

Being a North Miami Beach personal injury lawyer, I typically start off a new relationship with a client by telling them that: “Your case IS what it IS.”  It is vital that a South Florida lawyer’s new client understands that the nature of their settlement will largely depend upon the extent of the injury sustained from the car accident or slip and fall. Million dollar cases have million dollar injuries.  And as I briefly touched upon earlier, a million dollar injury is one that is devastating and debilitating in nature.

While clients typically want their case to become a million dollar case, what they often fail to recognize is that to have a million dollar case a severe injury must come along with it.  But don’t get me wrong, this is never the client’s fault for having these lofty expectations — it is the Florida personal injury attorney’s fault for not properly educating the client on the process and the way it works.

 

Brandon Stein Law: But what about my car?

Brandon Stein

By: Brandon Stein

If you or someone you know was injured, contact our Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyers today.

For Aventura car accident lawyers, a key component to a claim against the auto insurance company is the amount of bodily injury coverage under the other driver’s policy. While that is extremely important in obtaining compensation for the pain and suffering and injuries sustained as a result of the automobile negligence, that should be more of a focus for the Florida lawyer, rather than the client.  While South Florida car accident lawyers frequently get wrapped up in the personal injury side of the crash, the client also must often deal with the repair of their vehicle.

Anyone who owns a car understands the stress of obtaining insurance coverage and dealing with the insurance company to determine which policy is best suited for your needs.  And during that meeting with the insurance representative, a boat-load of information is thrown at you from every angle — whether it be bodily injury coverage, uninsured motorist coverage, property damage coverage, or collision coverage.  While Fort Myers car accident lawyers may only stress the importance of bodily injury and uninsured motorist, coverage for the property loss to your vehicle should certainly not go unnoticed.

If you happen to be injured in a car accident in Cape Coral and retain a personal injury lawyer, then you must be mindful of property damage and collision coverage.  While those two appear to be one in the same, the nature of their coverage is completely different. Collision coverage is designed and in place to pay for damage incurred to the insured’s vehicle. However, property damage coverage is designed to cover losses for the other party’s vehicle.  Based upon my experience in Naples as a car accident lawyer, I would stress that collision coverage should always be included when deciding which type of auto insurance to obtain.

As shocking as this revelation may seem coming from a North Miami car accident attorney, when looking to obtain recovery for property loss, it may not be in the client’s best interest to have their lawyer become involved in the recovery of collision coverage.  Simply put, the moment a lawyer gets involved — a fee is involved as well.  So as it relates to recovery for collision, I frequently suggest that the client contact their insurance company directly to obtain compensation under that provision of their auto policy.

Essentially, under collision coverage, the client’s insurance company will assess the damage to the car, and based upon that evaluation, will typically issue a check for that amount to pay for the repairs.  Yet, the assessment does not take into account any attorney fee.

So, if an attorney does work to recover for the property loss, then the amount needed to repair the vehicle would be reduced to pay for the legal fee.  Therefore, money would have to come out of your pocket to cover the remaining cost of the car repair.  Long story short, it is vital for clients to take this matter into their own hands and at least attempt to recover for collision on their own — without getting lawyers involved.

Brandon Stein Law: Settlement is Not the End of a Personal Injury Case

Brandon Stein

By: Brandon Stein

If you or someone you know was injured in a car accident or slip and fall, contact our Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyers today.

As a Fort Myers car accident and slip and fall lawyer, the end of a personal injury lawsuit is not when all parties have agreed to a settlement.  In fact, much more occurs on the “back-end” of a case than most are aware.  Once a client agrees to a specific amount for settlement, then the responsibility of paying all outstanding medical bills falls on the shoulders of the law firm. However, for a Cape Coral personal injury lawyer, a careful evaluation of the legal document releasing the defendant from the case is a must.  This document is frequently referred to as the “Release of Claims.”

Ultimately, no defendant will ever send a settlement check without first receiving a signed Release of Claims.  So, it is vital that the language is reviewed with a fine-tooth comb and any revisions needed to be made are raised prior to the client signing the document. While most Releases are generic and contain the same information as the next, one important component is rarely included — and this is perhaps excluded by the defendant for a reason.

Being a Naples personal injury lawyer that helps those injured from car accidents and slip and falls, upon settlement of any case, I always check the Release of Claims to ensure that the only party my client is releasing from the lawsuit is the party that is in fact settling. In essence, other known or unknown parties may exist that have committed some wrongful act, but are not included in the lawsuit or the settlement as of yet.

I suggest that the following language always be included within a Release of Claims: Releasor reserves the right to pursue and recover all future medical expenses, health care  and related expenses and any other claims from any person, firm, or organization that may be responsible for the injuries sustained by the Releasor, and this provision does not include the Releasees.

This language is entirely necessary because should a client come to recognize that another party may be responsible for his or her injury, then the client must be able to pursue a negligence claim against that party.  In fact, as a South Florida lawyer that sues for personal injury, I would even go as far as to say that the failure to include this language in a release may constitute legal malpractice.

 

 

Brandon Stein Law: Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, the Ambulance is on the Way

Brandon Stein

By: Brandon Stein

If you or someone you know was injured in an accident, contact our Bonita Springs Injury Lawyers today.

The holiday season is undoubtedly the busiest time of year for retail stores and malls.  And during this time of year, if it is the weekend and you are looking for a nice leisurely day perusing the stores at a mall, then think again.  The retail stores are filled with moms, dads, aunts, uncles and grandparents all looking furiously for the perfect toy for their loved ones.  And we all know that as a child, nothing beats the thrill of opening a present and praying it is the toy that you had your heart set on.  However, no matter how enjoyable it may be for children to play with these toys, parents must be mindful that just because it is a toy and meant for enjoyment, it does not mean that it is safe.

As a Naples personal injury lawyer that helps children suffering from toy-related injuries, I find that the holiday season is the busiest and most hectic time of the year for our line of work as well.  Sadly, the hustle and bustle and excitement of the holidays leads to serious and traumatic personal injury.  Even more unfortunate is that many of those hurt are young kids playing with dangerous toys or toys equipped with inadequate instructions.

Being a Fort Myers personal injury lawyer that sues for toy-related deaths, one must be well aware that the most common cause of these catastrophic injuries are from non-powered scooters.  According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, over 200,000 children are treated every year for toy-related injuries.  For children under the age of 14, “riding toys” are responsible for the majority of toy injuries.  Additionally, parents of toddlers must be cognizant of giving their young children toys that present choking hazards.

For a Fort Lauderdale lawyer that sues toy companies for children’s injuries, it is very important to thoroughly examine the warnings and instructions issued for each of the products manufactured by these companies.  Often times these instructions may not be sufficient and may leave the company exposed to potential liability should a Cape Coral personal injury lawyer file a lawsuit.

Parents of children must always be mindful of the dangers that toys impose upon their young children, because a serious toy-related injury can ruin this joyous time for the entire family.

Brandon Stein Law: A Client You Can’t Trust is a Client You Can’t Afford

By: Brandon Stein

If you or someone you know was injured in a car accident or trip and fall, contact our North Miami lawyers today.

For North Miami Beach injury lawyers that sue for slip and falls and car accidents, an unfaithful client can diminish the value of the case exponentially.  A client that you cannot trust is a client that you cannot afford to represent.  And clients that lie and fail to disclose pre-existing personal injuries to their Florida lawyers do irreparable damage to their trip and fall or car accident cases.

Sadly, certain clients place Aventura car accident lawyers in bad positions by not disclosing prior injuries.  For example, if a person slips and falls and suffers injury to her back and retains a South Florida lawyer, the expectation is that given the attorney-client relationship, every single detail will be disclosed.  This is often times not the case since some, but not all, injured clients try to “work the system” and only convey information to their Florida lawyer that will help their case. The reason lawyers are hired is because clients have no experience in slip and fall or car accident cases — thus they too have no experience deciphering important information from non-important information.

As a Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer, based upon the hundreds of slip and fall and car accident cases that I have handled, the most common piece of information held back by a client is the fact that he or she has suffered injury to the same part of the body in the past.  Unless the case gets settled very quickly, this withheld information will come out sooner or later.  And the later this information is discovered by the other side, the worse it is for the case.  On the flip-side, when this information is revealed to the defendant, their case improves significantly.

Simply put, imagine a defense attorney revealing this information to a jury of your peers. Once that information is placed in the hands of a jury, the jurors go from being your peers to being an ally for the defendant.