Posted on Thursday, November 15th, 2018 at 11:59 am
Congratulations, you’ve won your case.
So where’s the check? This a good question and the answer can get complicated.
Attorney – Client Contract
It’s important to understand the terms of your agreement with your attorney. Some firms take betweet 25 percent and 40 percent of settlements and awards and charge legal fees. Make sure you understand the terms before you get started.
Also, keep in mind that any check you receive may be subject to taxes.
Do the Math First
The math is often what will help you determine whether to pursue a case, to begin with. Your case may cost you more than what you’ll win. Work out the numbers with your attorney and have a clear understanding of what you’re getting into before filing a lawsuit.
What kind of case do you have?
If you’re waiting for money from an insurer, some laws and rules apply to settlements and awards. These types of payouts are strictly detailed and governed, and that’s a plus. Companies will follow the rules, most of the time.
Collecting on Your Judgement
There are a few steps in this process. Keep in mind that the opposing party or debtor may fight you every step of the way.
- Losing parties have 30 days to file an appeal. Don’t rock the boat. Give the opposing party time to make their decision. You don’t want to encourage a prolonged battle.
- Ask the other side to pay the judgment. It’s not a given that they will. Have your firm handle these details. A diplomatic approach is always helpful.
- If the opposing party (debtor) refuses to pay, go after easy assets like cash in the bank.
- Pursue less liquid assets like real estate and other significant items they may own like cars and boats.
- If the debtor continues to refuse, consider settling for less than what’s owed.
- Hire someone to monitor the debtor. They might just be hiding assets. Again, consult with your attorney and law firm for guidance. They have experience in this area.
- Sell off the debt. There are companies that specialize in taking on large settlements and offer to pay you a portion in exchange for the right to the remainder. This might be your best bet for collecting at least a fraction of what you’re owed.
Educating yourself about the possible outcomes of your case is essential and will reduce stress caused from unrealistic expectations.
When in doubt, just call us. The consultation is free and we’ll answer all your questions and give you an honest assessment of your case.
Posted on Wednesday, October 24th, 2018 at 2:19 pm
Just because you get into an Uber or Lyft doesn’t mean accidents don’t happen. In fact, they’ve been happening with more frequency as more people use these services.
If you’re going to use companies like Uber or Lyft to get around, you should know what to do in case of an accident.
Uber and Lyft each carry hefty liability insurance. What’s key in these accidents is who’s at fault and who is responsible for compensating you for your injuries and other damages.
In general, the insurance company for the at-fault driver would be responsible for compensating you. When it comes ride-sharing accidents, the list of insurance company is longer than you think.
- Uber and Lyft have insurance.
- Urber and Lyft driver’s have insurance
- Other drivers and their insurance companies
Uber and Lyft each third-party liability insurance, which pays up to $1 million for personal injuries and property damages. However, these policies kick in AFTER the driver’s own insurance has been applied.
It’s important to note that ride-sharing passengers are covered by Uber and Lyft third-party liability when their driver is at fault.
Other At-Fault Drivers
But what if at-fault driver is someone else?
You have to seek compensation from that driver’s insurance, if they have it. If they don’t have insurance or enough coverage, Uber and Lyft carry uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM) insurance coverage.
This coverage applies if the responsible driver is unknown, doesn’t have insurance or doesn’t have enough insurance to pay for your injuries.
What If the Coverage Still Isn’t Enough?
If the insurance policies are inadequate, you can file a lawsuit against the ride-sharing company. Moving forward with a lawsuit really depends on the severity of the accident. This is when you should consult an attorney. They will let you know if pursuing the case will be worth the effort.
Posted on Wednesday, September 26th, 2018 at 2:02 pm
If you’ve been injured in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence, you might have a case. Here are a few tips to help you determine whether or not to hire a personal injury attorney to redeem monetary losses.
Assess Your Injuries
- What type of injury do you have?
- How long will it take to recover?
- How much are your medical bills?
- Do you foresee future medical bills associated with your injury?
If you’ve sustained mild injuries, most people file a claim with their insurance company. But if your injuries are more serious, an attorney knowledgeable in personal injury law can guide you and advocate on your behalf.
Here are some questions you should ask yourself before hiring an attorney:
- Did the negligent party report the incident to their insurance company? Did that insurance company contact you?
- Are your injuries going to affect your quality of life and your ability to work?
- Have you been asked to sign a medical authorization by their insurance company?
- Are you being rushed to accept a settlement amount?
- Do you feel you’re untreated fairly and inappropriately?
- Are you being offered a fair amount for your injuries?
- Is the insurance company refusing to pay?
If you’re still uncertain about taking the next legal step, we advise that you consult with an attorney. Most attorneys don’t charge for consultations. Chances are if you ask to meet with an attorney, they can quickly assess whether you can and should pursue further action.
Finding the Right Attorney
We know there are many attorneys out there but their experience may or may not be a good fit. Consider the following:
- Car accident experience
- Personal injury experience
- Reputation and referrals
- Dedication to your case
- Comfort level
All these play a factor in selecting the attorney for the job.
Posted on Tuesday, August 21st, 2018 at 1:32 pm
Much of the concern regarding school safety remains on the roadway, where most dangers exist. Kids are either walking to school, taking a school bus or getting there by car.
In each case, it’s important that kids and teens, as well as parents, stay vigilant.
In the car
Studies show that most traffic accidents occur within five miles of your home. Seat belts are essential, whether sitting in the front or the back. Seat belts reduce the risk of injury by 45 percent.
If you’re part of a carpool, make sure all kids are secured and coordinate with other parents the rules of the drive to and from school. Knowledge and planning are essential to reduing problems and staying safe.
On the bus
Kids need to know the protocol for riding on a bus. Proper behavior will reduce distractions for bus drivers.
Bus Tips for Kids
- Walk to the bus stop, never run
- Walk on the sidewalk
- Get to the bus stop five minutes before the bus is slated to arrive
- Get to know your bus drivers. Parents should introduce their kids to the drive and feel safe with them.
- Always remain seated on the bus.
- Never throw things on the bus or out the windows.
- Keep the aisles clear
- No fighting, jostling or picking on other kids.
- Report problems
- Respect the Danger Zones: The “Danger Zone” is ten feet wide on all sides of the bus. Always remain 10 steps away from the bus to be out of the “Danger Zone” and where the driver can see you.
- Always cross the street in front of the bus, never from behind.
- Never speak to strangers on the way to the bus stop or on the way back. Always report problems to parents and/or guardians.
Bus Tips for Parents
- Walk your kids to the bus stop or have them walk in a group.
- Show them good pedestrian behavior.
- Ensure they wait by standing 10 feet from the road. Show them exactly what to do and what not to do.
- Introduce your kids to their driver and make sure they don’t speak too softly in school.
- Teach them to walk in front of the bus at all times.
- If they drop something, make sure they alert the driver. They should never run in the middle of a street to pick something up.
- Make sure they leave home with all their laces tied and wayward strings tucked into their pockets.
Best of luck and may you and your kids have a safe and successful school year.
Posted on Monday, July 23rd, 2018 at 5:06 pm
A six-year-old Jacksonville girl died a few days ago after being attacked by a dog in her family’s care.
Since the dog’s bite resulted in a death, the animal will be euthanized after the 10-day quarantine unless the owner files an appeal. If an appeal is filed, the dog will be held while the appeal is pending.
Dog bites are serious incidents, far beyond the cartoon of a postal worker being chased from a yard. Like many accidents and injuries, the issue isn’t always cut and dry.
If you’re bitten by a dog or your dog bites someone, the court will likely want to determine a few key points;
- Was the dog provoked?
- Was the action of the dog considered “dangerous activity” from which the law seeks to protect the general public?
- Does the dog have a history of attacking people?
- Did the person attacked know about the dog’s history?
- Did the dog’s action cause actual harm?
In many states, dog owners are held liable for their pet’s behavior. Some states actually allow one free bite.
“This means if the dog hasn’t displayed dangerous or violent tendencies in the past, the owner may not be held liable unless he or she had that specific, prior knowledge the dog may bite or attack someone,” according to InjuryFindLaw.com.
“Strict liability unless person is trespassing or committing a crime or tort on private property of owner or there is a visible “Bad Dog” sign on display.”
Some cities and counties go a step further and have enacted leash laws, which require dog owners to have man’s best friend on a leash when not on their personal property. Some states carry leash laws, but mostly, it’s cities and counties that enact these regulations.
Broward County has a leash law for dogs but not cats. (Take a look) In Palm Beach County, leashes are required when walking a dog. Miami-Dade County has a similar law.
“It’s a public-safety issue for dogs to be off a leash,” said Dianne Sauve, the county’s director of animal care and control in a report by the Palm Beach Post. “There is a trigger point for every animal.”
Posted on Wednesday, June 20th, 2018 at 11:28 am
Studies show that most drowning incidents occur in swimming pools. However, young children have been known to drown in less than two inches of water.
The problem is worse in Florida, which has lost more children to drownings than any other state. The statistics are startling:
- In 2017, there were 51 fatal child drownings in Florida pools or spas, a 20 percent spike compared to 2016 when there were 40 fatal child drownings.
- Most of the drownings in 2017 involved kids 15 or younger, with 80 percent involving children under 5.
- Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death among children ages 1-4 nationwide.
Florida families have been urged to enroll their kids in swimming programs. Adults are encouraged to learn CPR. Many local organizations offer free and low-cost lessons to ensure that families in need have access to lifesaving lessons.
Knowing the strokes isn’t enough.
Safety in pools, at home and the beach, involves being alert and taking precautions. Here are some tips that will help ensure children are safe.
- Never leave a child unattended in a pool or spa. Always watch over kids around any body of water.
- Designate a watcher, who knows how to swim, to supervise children. Watchers have to be alert and shouldn’t be distracted by a phone, conversation or even a book. All eyes, all the time.
- Never allow a young child to be responsible for a younger sibling or playmate.
- Teach your kids to swim and take lessons yourself if you aren’t a strong swimmer.
- Learn CPR
- Flotation devices and swimming lessons are not a substitute for adult supervision.
- Empty buckets immediately after use and store them upside down and out of a child’s reach.
- If you have a pool at home, make sure to install approved barriers to keep small children from falling in and drowning. Barriers include child-proof locks on all doors, a pool fence with self-latching and self-closing gates, as pool alarms. Keep children away from pool drains, pipes, and other openings to avoid entrapment.
- Empty buckets immediately after use and store them upside down and out of a child’s reach.
- Keep toilet seats down and consider using a lock or toilet clip to prevent toddlers from opening the toilet.
Drowning accidents are caused by a wide range of accidents and conditions such as the following:
- Drain defects
- Defective pool toys
- Dangerous designInsufficient fencing
- Insufficient fencing
- Lack of proper pool barriers
- Improperly mixed pool chemicals
- Negligent lifeguards
- Improper supervision
- Insufficiently trained lifeguards
- Lack of adequate signage
The legal team at Winston Law is here to help you recover financial damages for medical bills, rehabilitation expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering in the event of an injury due to a drowning incident. The team at Winston Law can help you pursue a personal injury lawsuit.
Posted on Monday, May 14th, 2018 at 2:20 pm
May is Motorcycle Safety Month, and it has never been more relevant than now for Floridians.
Florida Highway Patrol reported 9,500 motorcycle crashes in 2017. About 611 people died in those accidents.
Safety is at the heart of reducing accidents and deaths. The fact is, motorcyclists are 27 more times likely than passenger car occupants to die in a crash and more likely to be injured.
“Don’t text and drive. Don’t talk on the phone and drive. Ensure that you are paying attention to the road and that your mind is on the road, your eyes are on the road, and your hands are on the wheel,” said Capt. Tim Pikul, with Florida Highway Patrol, a report published by WWSB, ABC-7 in Sarasota.
Here’s a look at some of the leading causes of motorcycle accidents (not ranked):
• Inexperienced Motorcyclists: We recommend that motorcyclists take a course before hitting the road.
• Speeding: Who hasn’t been surprised by a motorcyclist zipping through traffic. The higher the speed, the greater the chance of impact and the severity of the injuries.
• Lane Changing: Passenger car drivers often don’t check for motorcyclists when switching lanes. Blindspots can be an added hazard when drivers fail to double check before changing lanes.
• Car Doors Opening: Motorcyclists have been known to have severe accidents when they hit a car door that suddenly opens, knocking them off their bikes.
• Drinking and Driving: Alcohol is believed to be the main reason for motorcycle accidents.
• Lane Splitting: When a motorcycle operator drives between two lanes of stopped or slower moving cars. In Florida, lane splitting is illegal.
• Road Conditions: Wet and slick roads, road construction, and poorly maintained roads can all cause motorcyclists to lose control and crash.
Is insurance necessary?
Florida is one of the few states that does not require much motorcycle insurance. Motorcyclists in Florida, for example, do not need to carry personal injury protection (PIP). Floridians, however, are required to meet a financial threshold in case of injuries.
What should you do if you’re planning on riding a motorcycle regularly on Florida roads? Follow these tips to stay on the road:
• Get insurance; Whether you’re injured, or someone else is, you need protection.
• Equip yourself with protective gear.
• Take a motorcycle safety class.
• Don’t drink and drive.
• Abide by the rules of the road.
If you do get into a motorcycle accident, you might be entitled to compensation. Winston Law is a leading motorcycle firm in South Florida. We understand the complexities of motorcycle accidents and can fight for your rights. Contact us for a free consultation.
Winston Law Firm
2924 Davie Rd., Suite 201
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314
954-475-9666 or 800-475-4206
Posted on Friday, April 15th, 2016 at 3:02 pm
Many reading this have heard about (or seen advertisements on TV) regarding “Mass Tort” claims. Generally, these cases involve defective or dangerous consumer products, medications or medical devices. Some of the more well-known have involved asbestos products, TVM (trans-vaginal mesh) and various medications, both prescription and over-the-counter.
In order to effectively and efficiently handle these cases, the lawyers must be skilled, knowledgeable and experienced. The Winston Law Firm is proud to announce we have forged a relationship with one of the nation’s leading Mass Tort law firms, and are accepting cases and claims for clients who have (or may) suffered adverse consequences from the following:
Proton Pump Inhibitor cases (Nexium, Prilosec, Prevacid, Protonix, Zegarid) – Brand and OTC are both going to be great cases. Manufacturers have known for 20 years these drugs cause kidney disease and injury. Finally, in December of 2014, manufacturers changed their package inserts and labels to warn of an association with PPIs and interstitial nephritis, diagnosed by kidney biopsy. However, no general warning regarding chronic kidney disease was ever added. Also the OTC versions never contained any warnings.
Our acceptance criteria is very broad on these right now. We are accepting cases with PPI ingestion and diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, acute kidney injury, renal or kidney failure, acute interstitial nephritis, dialysis treatment, kidney removal/transplant or related death.
Onglyza, Kombiglyze XR (diabetes medications) – The FDA just issued risk warning letter for heart failure and stroke. The manufacturer’s own huge study, from which they were wanting to show the drug also helped prevent heart problems, showed a 27% increase in hospitalizations vs placebo.
Fluoroquinolones (Levaquin, Avelox, Cipro, Noroxin, Floxin, Factive) – These drugs can cause aortic aneurysms/aortic dissections. JAMA and the British Medical Journal have found these drugs more than double the risk of suffering an aortic aneurysm or aortic dissection.
Fluoroquinolones (Levaquin, Avelox, Cipro, Noroxin, Floxin, Factive) – These drugs can also cause peripheral neuropathy (pain, burning, numbness or loss of use of hands or feet).
Xarelto – blood thinner – This drug can cause strokes, blood clots and internal bleeding. Xarelto received FDA approval in 2011 to reduce the risk of strokes, blood clots, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE) in patients who have undergone hip or knee replacement surgery. Xarelto, like other blood thinners, carries a risk of internal bleeding. However, there is evidence showing that Xarelto is not as safe or effective as other blood thinners and that the internal bleeding caused by Xarelto cannot be controlled or reversed by physicians, unlike the traditional class of blood thinners, which includes Coumadin® (warfarin). The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) advises that Xarelto has been associated with “serious, disabling or fatal injury,” including blood clots or thromboembolic events.
Talc (Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower products) – Can cause ovarian cancer. We tend to think of Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower products manufactured by Johnson & Johnson as a common and safe household item used to prevent dryness and rashes in a variety of applications. However, these common household products contain a dangerous substance known as “Talc” or “Talcum Powder” which have been shown to be associated with the development of ovarian cancer when used regularly near a women’s pelvic region.
Posted on Thursday, January 5th, 2012 at 7:01 pm
On Wednesday night, Ira Rosenberg, 59, of Boynton Beach, was hit by a car and killed on Boynton Beach Boulevard.
Rosenberg was riding his 1974 Harley Davidson motorcycle on El Clair Ranch Road when he was hit by a 1997 Pontiac after driving through a red light while making a left turn onto Boynton Beach Boulevard. Denise Robinson, 30, was the driver of the Pontiac.
Rosenberg was rushed to Delray Medical Center and died three hours later from injuries suffered during the accident. Our thoughts and deepest condolences are with the victims’ family.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact Fort Lauderdale motorcycle accident attorneys of Winston Law Firm by calling 954-475-9666.
Posted on Tuesday, August 30th, 2011 at 6:59 pm
There is no shortage of attorneys who are more than willing to take your business. However, simply because someone has a law degree and is willing to discuss your case with you does not mean that he or she is competent to handle your particular legal situation.
One of the main goals of this website and my book, Making the Right Choice: A Practical Guide to Choosing an Attorney is to debunk the commonly held belief that anyone with a law degree is capable of handling every existing legal problem. Most lawyers today specialize.
Just as you would not seek the assistance of a podiatrist when your medical needs concern something other than a foot problem, you should not hire an attorney who primarily practices criminal law to draft a will for you.
While this may seem obvious when stated so bluntly, many people are not aware of the complexity of most areas of the law and the fact that it takes a considerable amount of time and effort to keep abreast of one area of law let alone many.
When a lawyer claims to be proficient in a variety of legal fields, you need to be concerned and should question the attorney’s experience prior to retaining him or her. The state of the law today is much different from several decades ago when a lawyer could handle any legal issue that a client might face. The days of the general legal practitioner are gone.
In order to avoid a huge headache later, it is vital to always remember when you are hiring a lawyer that it is your burden as a consumer of legal services to determine whether a lawyer is qualified to handle your particular legal issue. The fact that a person is licensed to practice law does not in itself mean that he or she is competent.
It is also very important to remember that as is the case with any other field or profession, some attorneys are excellent and some are not. You, a potential client, simply need to make sure that your attorney is one of the excellent ones. This can be easily established if you are willing to invest a little time and effort in the process of choosing your counsel.
Click on the book title, Making the Right Choice: A Practical Guide to Choosing an Attorney to get your own personal copy delivered in immediate PDF format or by postal mail. Once you read the book, give me a call to discuss your case.
Bradley Winston, Esq.