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The Ticktin Minute November 7, 2016 – Fundamentals of Personal Injury Protection (“PIP”) Coverage

The biggest concern after an accident for most people is medical bills. Every person who owns a vehicle in Florida must have Personal Injury Protection (“PIP”) on their insurance policy. PIP is the required coverage that pays your medical expenses after an accident. In Florida, every person’s own insurance company pay for their medical expenses after an accident up to $10,000.00 regardless of who was at fault for the accident. This is why they call Florida a “No Fault” state.

Most people are aware that your insurance company pays up to $10,000.00 of medical bills after an accident, but what they may not be aware of is that on most policies, your insurance company only pays 80% of each medical bill. The other 20% balance of your bill is considered a co-pay and are required to be paid by you, the patient. With extremely high hospital costs, people can be stuck with hefty hospital bills even when they have Personal Injury Protection coverage. If you have health insurance, these balances can be submitted and paid by your insurer. If you do not have health insurance, many hospitals will require some form of payment within thirty (30) to ninety (90) days, or else they will place you into collections, potentially affecting your credit.

Most Personal Injury Protection coverage also include a deductible of up to $1,000.00, which is considered the patient’s responsibility. This amount may also be submitted to your health insurance company; however, keep in mind that most health insurance policies contain a subrogation clause. If you receive compensation from the at-fault party after being injured in an accident, the subrogation clause in your health insurance contract requires you to reimburse your health insurance company for all or some of what they paid on your behalf. These are just a few of the issues you may face through the course of your personal injury case.

If you have suffered from a personal injury contact the attorneys of The Ticktin Law Group for a free consultation to help you get the compensation you deserve!

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The Ticktin Minute October 31, 2016 – Dog Bites in Detail (Strict Liability)

In Florida, if a dog bites a person, the dog owner is strictly liable for any damages caused by the bite. Under Florida Statute 767.04, “the owner of any dog that bites any person while such person is on or in a public place, or lawfully on or in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, is liable for damages suffered by persons bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owners’ knowledge of such viciousness.” This means that the any plaintiff, who has been bitten by a dog, need not prove that the owner was negligent in some fashion. They do not need to prove that the owner had a duty nor that said duty was breached. This is the essence of strict liability. The act itself establishes liability.

However, despite the general rule, the legislature has continued to apply comparative negligence in these situations. In other words, any negligence on the part of the victim will be taken into account and used to reduce any potential recovery. It is ultimately up to a jury to decide what percentage of fault the victim has. For example, if the plaintiff provokes or taunts the dog, a jury may find that the victim was equally responsible for the dog attacking as the dog owner was. As such, a jury would find fifty (50%) percent comparative negligence on the part of the victim and only allow him to recover fifty (50%) percent of his damages.

There is another exception to this strict liability rule, which totally exculpates the dog owner. If a property owner prominently displays a sign on their property including the words “bad dog”, that property owner is no longer liable for any person bitten, even if they are lawfully on the property. This, however, excludes any children under the age of six (6).  The bottom line is that there are many nuanced rules that come into play when dealing with dog bites.

If you have suffered from a personal injury contact the attorneys of The Ticktin Law Group for a free consultation to help you get the compensation you deserve!

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The Ticktin Minute October 24, 2016 – Common Issues in Proving Negligence in Personal Injury

There are many difficulties with proving personal injury negligence in both motor vehicle collisions and premises liability cases such as slip/trip and falls. There are three (3) major elements of negligence when dealing with these cases: liability (duty and breach), causation (actual and proximate), and damages. The common issues in proving negligence generally stem from liability problems.

The various issues with proving liability differ between motor vehicle collisions and premises liability cases. For instance, in a motor vehicle collision, when there is not a clear breach of a duty (such as a rear end collision or the failure to yield the right of way), liability often comes down to one person’s word against another’s. This decision is usually made by the investigating police officer and then reviewed and re-assessed by an insurance adjuster. If one person has an independent witness in their favor, they will typically prevail. This is the reason why gathering evidence and obtaining names and phone numbers of any witnesses after an accident is of the utmost importance.

In a slip/trip and fall case, proving liability with regard to personal injury negligence can be much more difficult.  In order to prove that a landowner or an establishment has breached their duty of care, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant was “on notice” of a hazardous condition.  To prove notice, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant knew or should have known of a dangerous condition and did nothing to correct the condition or to warn the plaintiff of its existence. For example, if a person slips on a puddle of liquid at a grocery store, they must prove that the liquid had been there for such a length of time that the grocery store knew or should have known about its existence and did nothing about it.

If you have suffered from a personal injury contact the attorneys of The Ticktin Law Group for a free consultation to help you get the compensation you deserve!

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The Ticktin Minute October 17, 2016 – The Impact of Technology on Personal Injury Cases

The advancement of technology has had a major impact on how personal injury cases are negotiated and/or litigated by insurance companies and attorneys. Specifically, did you know that your text messaging records may be discovered in a personal injury lawsuit if you were texting and driving prior to an accident. Such texting and driving could be argued to prove some degree of fault on your part or comparative fault for the accident. Further, if you “tweet” or “facebook post” about an accident after it occurs, those records could be discovered as well. Discoverable social media also includes: linkedin, snapchat, meetup, twitter, instagram as well as any other online accounts you may have.

Insurance companies routinely attempt to deny claims for any reason, or no reason at all.  Texting and driving or posting on social media after an accident indicating fault gives them a valid reason, which your attorney will have to refute. The insurance companies must only file a simple motion to compel social media data and most often, the courts grant such motions. It is well known that not only are we extremely startled after an accident, but most people are also unnecessarily open and carefree with items they post online. Accordingly, it is crucial to off of all social media and call an attorney immediately after an accident has occurred to obtain further advice on what to do next. The only individuals you should be talking about the accident to is the police, your doctor(s) and your personal injury attorney.

Allow the personal injury attorneys of the Ticktin Law Group to assist you after an accident. Our attorneys will fight the insurance companies and the person or persons who caused your injuries to obtain the compensation you deserve! We offer complimentary consultations as well as free car insurance policy reviews.

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Ticktin Minute July 4, 2016 – Happy Fourth of July from The Ticktin Law Group

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