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The Impact Social Media Can Have on Your Personal Injury Case

By Personal Injury

In today’s digital age, it’s no secret that social media has become an integral part of our daily lives. However, many people fail to realize that what they post on platforms like Facebook, X, and Instagram can significantly impact various aspects of their lives, including legal matters. If you’re currently involved in a personal injury case in Sarasota, Florida, it’s crucial to understand how social media can impact the outcome of your case. Courts and attorneys alike have the right to use discovery of social media information when relevance is proven, and the information is obtained in an ethical manner.

  1. Be aware of your online presence:

    Insurance companies and defense attorneys often scour social media platforms for evidence that could be used against you. Even innocent posts or pictures can be easily misconstrued and used to cast doubt on the severity of your injuries or the truthfulness of your claims. Remember, what you share online is not contextually understood by strangers who may be reviewing your case.

  2. Privacy settings aren’t foolproof:

    While adjusting your privacy settings can help limit who can see your posts, it does not guarantee complete protection. Defense attorneys may seek access to your social media content during the discovery process and use any public or shared content against you in court. Always assume that anything posted online can potentially be used against you.

  3. Avoid discussing your case online:

    As a general rule of thumb, refrain from discussing your personal injury case on social media. Sharing specific details, updates, or frustrations about your case could jeopardize your settlement negotiations or impact any potential court proceedings. What seems like an innocent vent may be twisted and used against you later.

  4. Think before posting:

    Before pressing that share button, consider how your content could be perceived within the context of your personal injury case. Avoid posting pictures or videos that could contradict your claims. This includes engaging in physical activities that are contrary to the extent of your reported injuries.

Our world is more interconnected than ever, and social media can have significant implications on your personal injury case. It’s essential to be mindful of your online presence throughout the entirety of your case to protect your interests and ensure a fair outcome. Consult with us, and we will guide you on the best practices regarding social media usage during this sensitive time. We can help to create a pathway for your specific case.

Navigating Insurance Companies: Tips for Sarasota Personal Injury Victims

Navigating Insurance Companies: Tips for Sarasota Personal Injury Victims

By Insurance, Law

Being involved in a personal injury incident can be a traumatic experience, but understanding your rights and navigating insurance companies can help ease some of the burden. At Greg Linehan Law, we believe in empowering our clients with knowledge, so we have created this post to provide valuable tips for Sarasota personal injury victims.

  1. Report the Incident Promptly:

After being involved in an accident or sustaining any personal injuries, it is crucial to report the incident to the authorities and your insurance company as soon as possible. Prompt reporting ensures that your version of events is accurately documented and helps expedite the process of filing a claim. It is important to note that under Florida’s statute of limitations on personal injury cases, victims have two years to file a lawsuit in civil court.

  1. Gather Evidence:

Collecting evidence is crucial in supporting your personal injury claim. Take photographs and videos of the accident scene, injuries sustained, property damage, and any other relevant details. Obtain contact information from any witnesses present as their statements can strengthen your case.

  1. Seek Medical Attention:

Even if your injuries appear minor at first, it is essential to seek medical attention immediately. Some injuries may manifest days or even weeks after an accident. Medical records and professional evaluations are vital when dealing with insurance companies and proving the extent of your injuries.

  1. Do Not Provide Recorded Statements:

Insurance companies may request a recorded statement from you regarding the incident. It is important to remember that their primary goal is to minimize their liability and settle the claim for as little as possible. Refrain from providing a recorded statement without consulting your personal injury attorney first.

  1. Consult a Personal Injury Attorney:

Navigating insurance companies can be complex and overwhelming. Seeking legal representation from an experienced personal injury attorney can significantly benefit your case. They can guide you through the legal process, negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf, and ensure that your rights are protected.

  1. Document All Communication:

Maintain a record of all communication with insurance companies, including phone calls, emails, and written correspondence. Note the date, time, and details discussed during each interaction. This documentation can serve as valuable evidence in case any disputes arise.

  1. Be Cautious with Social Media:

Be cautious of what you post on social media platforms during your personal injury claim process. Insurance companies often monitor claimants’ social media profiles to gather evidence that may undermine their case. Avoid sharing photos or posts that could be misinterpreted or used against you. It’s best to limit your social media activity until your claim is resolved.

  1. Do Not Accept an Inadequate Settlement:

Insurance companies may try to offer a quick settlement, often before the full extent of your injuries is known. It is crucial not to accept any settlement offers without consulting your personal injury attorney. They can assess the value of your claim and negotiate for a fair settlement that covers your past, present, and future damages.

Understanding your rights, documenting the incident thoroughly, seeking legal advice, and not settling for less than you deserve are essential steps in navigating insurance companies as a Sarasota personal injury victim. At Greg Linehan Law, we are dedicated to advocating for your rights and helping you obtain the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation, and let us fight for your rights!

pre-existing conditions can affect your Sarasota personal injury claim

How Pre-Existing Conditions Can Affect Your Personal Injury Claim

By Law

When it comes to personal injury claims, understanding the laws surrounding pre-existing conditions can significantly impact the outcome of your case. Florida has specific regulations in place that determine the extent to which your pre-existing condition may impact your claim. This article aims to educate our clients about these laws and shed light on how pre-existing conditions can affect your personal injury claim in Sarasota. 

Understanding Pre-Existing Conditions

A pre-existing condition refers to any health issue or injury that you had before the accident or incident that led to your personal injury claim. These conditions can range from chronic illnesses, prior injuries, or even previous accidents. Many individuals are concerned that having a pre-existing condition may hinder their chances of receiving fair compensation, but that is not always the case.

Comparative Negligence Rule

Florida follows the modified comparative negligence rule, which means that compensation is allocated based on each party’s proportion of fault and if the Plaintiff is found to be greater than 50 percent at fault for the accident, then they cannot recover any damages.  If your pre-existing condition was worsened or aggravated by the accident, you may still be eligible for compensation for the increased damage caused by the defendant’s negligence. However, it is crucial to establish a clear link between the accident and the amplified effects on your pre-existing condition.

The Eggshell Skull Rule

Under the “eggshell skull” rule, the responsible party is held accountable for the full extent of the damages, even if the injured party had a pre-existing condition that made them more vulnerable to harm. In other words, defendants cannot escape liability by arguing that their injuries would not have been as severe if they didn’t have a pre-existing condition. The focus is on the responsibility of the negligent party rather than the victim’s vulnerability.

Proper Documentation

To strengthen your personal injury claim, it is imperative to have proper documentation that establishes a clear link between the accident and the exacerbation of your pre-existing condition. Medical records, expert testimony, and eyewitness accounts can all play a crucial role in proving the defendant’s negligence and the impact on your health.

While pre-existing conditions can complicate personal injury claims, understanding the laws surrounding them can help protect your rights as a victim. The modified comparative negligence rule and the eggshell skull rule may ensure that you can still seek compensation if your pre-existing condition was worsened by an accident caused by someone else’s negligence. Seeking legal counsel from experienced personal injury attorneys in Sarasota can greatly assist you in navigating the complexities of these laws and improving your chances of receiving fair compensation. Contact our team today to discuss your options.

law

Understanding the Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims in Florida

By Car Accidents, Law

Understanding the Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims in Florida

When it comes to personal injury claims in Florida, it is crucial to understand the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations sets a timeframe within which you can file a lawsuit after an injury or accident occurs. If you fail to file within this time limit, you may forfeit your right to seek compensation for your damages.

In Florida, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is generally two years from the date of the accident or injury to file a case based on negligence. However, there are exceptions and variations to this rule that you should keep in mind. This variation of the previous statute took place on March 24, 2023, so if your injury occurred before that date, then it is possible that you have four years.

Medical Malpractice

For medical malpractice cases, the statute of limitations is a bit different. You typically still have two years from the date of the incident to file a lawsuit, or within two years from the discovery of the injury if it was not immediately known. However, a four-year statute of repose restricts a claim from being filed more than four years after the incident, regardless of when the injury was discovered.

Wrongful Death

In cases involving wrongful death, the statute of limitations is typically two years from the date of death. It is crucial to consult with a qualified attorney to determine the exact deadlines that apply to your specific situation and prevent missing any important deadlines.

One important thing to note is that evidence and witness testimony may become less reliable as time goes by. It is always better to take legal action sooner rather than later to increase your chances of a successful claim. Additionally, gathering evidence and building a strong case takes time. Starting early allows your attorney to investigate your claim thoroughly.

If you file a personal injury claim against a government entity or agency in Florida, additional procedural requirements and time constraints must be followed. It is important to consult an experienced personal injury attorney. They can guide you through the specific rules and help protect your rights.

Understanding the statute of limitations is crucial for anyone considering filing a personal injury claim in Florida. Keeping track of important deadlines and seeking legal advice promptly can make all the difference in obtaining the compensation you deserve. Don’t wait too long – consult with our team today to discuss your case and protect your rights.

A silhouette of a woman looking upset

What is a Consortium Claim?

By Law, Personal Injury

What is a consortium claim?

A consortium claim is a type of personal injury claim that allows a spouse or other close family member to recover damages for the loss of companionship, care, and assistance caused by the injury or death of their loved one. The term “consortium” refers to the benefits of marriage, such as companionship, love, and support.

Spouses most commonly bring loss of consortium claims, but claims may also be brought by other close family members, such as parents, children, or siblings. To recover damages for loss of consortium, the claimant must show that the injury or death of their loved one has caused significant disruption to their marital or family relationship.

Damages

The damages that can be awarded for loss of consortium vary from state to state, but they typically include compensation for the following:

  • The loss of companionship, love, and affection
  • The loss of sexual relations
  • The loss of household services
  • The cost of hiring care providers
  • The emotional distress caused by the injury or death

The amount of damages a claimant is awarded for loss of consortium depends on the specific facts of their case. Ultimately, the more severe the injury or death, the higher the damages award will be.

Situations

Some examples of situations warranting a loss of consortium claim include:

  • A spouse experiencing an injury during a car accident. They can no longer provide their partner with the same level of care and support.
  • A parent dying in a workplace accident, leaving their spouse to raise their children alone.
  • A child experiencing an injury in a schoolyard accident. They can no longer participate in activities that they used to enjoy with their parents.

If you have been injured in an accident, and your spouse or other close family member has suffered a loss of consortium as a result, contact my office today to discuss your legal options.

injured-in-car-accident-without-health-insurance

Injured in a Car Accident and Lack Health Insurance?

By Car Accidents, Insurance

If you are involved in an accident and lack health insurance, it can be daunting, but there are several alternatives to consider for covering your medical expenses. In this blog post, we’ll explore various options that can provide you with the necessary care and support after an accident.

  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Insurance:

Your insurance company may offer Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage, which can cover 80% of your medical bills up to $10,000. Ensure you understand the terms and conditions of your insurance policy to take advantage of this coverage.

  • Medicaid:

If you meet the low-income criteria, consider applying for Medicaid, a government-funded health insurance program that provides coverage for individuals and families in need. Contact your state’s Medicaid office to learn more about the application process.

  • Negligent Person’s Insurance:

If another driver’s negligence caused the accident, their insurance company may be responsible for paying your medical bills. File a claim with your insurance company to access this coverage. Note that this claim is usually settled once your case concludes, so alternative funding may be needed during the critical stages of treatment.

  • Free Clinics:

Numerous free clinics across the country provide medical care to uninsured individuals. Conduct an online search or reach out to your local health department to find a free clinic in your area.

  • Charitable Care:

Certain hospitals and medical providers offer charitable care, providing medical services at reduced costs or even for free. Inquire with your doctor or hospital to determine if they offer such assistance.

  • Attorney-Doctor Contacts:

In some cases, an attorney may be able to connect you with a doctor who is willing to delay payment until your case settles. This option can alleviate the financial burden of immediate medical expenses.

  • Self-Pay:

When all other options are exhausted, you may need to cover your medical costs out of pocket. While this can be expensive, there are ways to reduce expenses. Consider negotiating with your doctor or hospital for lower prices or explore financial assistance programs.

In conclusion, seeking prompt medical care after an accident is vital, even without health insurance. By considering these alternative options for injury coverage, you can ensure proper treatment and avoid missing out on necessary care. Don’t hesitate to contact our office for further assistance. We are committed to helping accident victims without health insurance receive the settlement they deserve.

A close up of an auto accident at night

Legal Considerations for Rideshare Accidents in Florida

By Car Accidents

In an Accident as a Passenger of a Rideshare Service?

If you are injured in a vehicle accident while a rideshare company like Uber or Lyft is the driver in Florida, then you should be aware of a few legal considerations.

  • The responsible driver’s insurance company will be liable for compensating injured parties.
  • The rideshare company can also provide compensation for injuries and damages based on the policy limits.
  • Florida is a no-fault state. Therefore, personal injury protection coverage (PIP) should cover you regardless of who was at fault.
  • As of 2022, Uber or Lyft will cover up to $100,000 in bodily injury per accident (maximum $50,000 per person) and $25,000 for property damage.
  • Rideshare companies and their drivers must carry liability insurance that covers passengers and others in the event of an accident.
  • You have up to two years from the date of the car accident to file a claim against the at-fault driver and their insurance company.

The best way to ensure you receive compensation is to contact a personal injury attorney immediately after an accident. You have the right to hold the responsible party legally liable for your injuries and other damages, including pain and suffering. Contact our office today and learn more about your options.

A close up of an auto accident at night

Multi-Vehicle Accidents: Who’s Responsible?

By Car Accidents, Law
Liability for Property Damage in Multi-Vehicle Accidents

When you are in a car accident with multiple vehicles, it can be difficult to determine who is at fault and who is responsible for paying for the property damage. In Florida, the law of negligence determines liability for car accidents. Negligence is defined as the failure to use reasonable care, which results in harm to another person.

Multi-Vehicle Accidents: Who’s Responsible?

In a multi-vehicle accident, there may be multiple drivers who were negligent. For example, if one driver was speeding and rear-ended another, both drivers may be found negligent. In this case, the insurance companies for both drivers would be responsible for paying for the property damage.

The amount of property damage covered by insurance will depend on the specific policy. Most insurance policies will cover the cost of repairs to your vehicle, as well as the cost of rental car expenses if your vehicle is not drivable.

Liability for Personal Injury in Multi-Vehicle Accidents

In addition to property damage, you may also be injured in a multi-vehicle accident. If you are injured, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against the driver or drivers who were negligent. In Florida, personal injury claims are typically filed under the theory of negligence.

To prove negligence in a personal injury case, you must show that the other driver(s):

  • owed you a duty of care;
  • breached that duty of care;
  • their breach of duty caused your injuries; and
  • you suffered damages as a result of your injuries.

If you can prove these elements, you can recover compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.

The Role of Insurance in Multi-Vehicle Accidents

In most cases, the insurance companies for the drivers involved in a multi-vehicle accident will be responsible for paying for the property damage and personal injuries. However, there may be cases where the insurance company for one driver is not willing to pay for the damages. You may need to file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver in these cases.

If you have been injured in a multi-vehicle accident, speaking with an experienced personal injury attorney is crucial as soon as possible. An attorney can help you to understand your legal rights and options and can help you to file a claim for compensation.

We Can Help

Determining liability for property damage and personal injuries in multi-vehicle accidents can be complex. However, with the help of an experienced personal injury attorney, you can protect your rights and get the compensation you deserve.

If you have been injured in a multi-vehicle accident, don’t hesitate to contact me to discuss your case. I will fight to get you the compensation you deserve.

A sign saying roundabout

Pedestrian Accidents in Roundabouts 

By Accident Prevention, Car Accidents, Pedestrian

Roundabouts are a common sight in Sarasota, Florida, and for good reason. They are proven to reduce crashes resulting in serious injury or death greatly. They also improve safety by promoting lower speeds, reducing conflict points, and more. However, roundabouts can also be confusing for drivers who are not familiar with them. This can lead to accidents, especially for drivers visiting Sarasota from out of town. Many of these accidents in roundabouts affect pedestrians.

As a personal injury attorney in Sarasota, I have seen firsthand the consequences of roundabout accidents. I have represented clients injured in roundabout crashes and seen the financial and emotional toll these accidents can take.

Driver safety in roundabouts

There are a few things drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians can do to help stay safe in roundabouts. First, it is important to be familiar with the rules of the road for roundabouts. These rules are different from the rules for traditional intersections with stop signs or traffic lights. Second, it is important to yield to the right of way. This means that drivers entering the roundabout must yield to drivers already in the roundabout. Third, being aware of your surroundings and proceeding slowly and cautiously is essential.

Here are some additional tips for driving safely in roundabouts:
    • Slow down and be prepared to yield to traffic already in the roundabout.
    • Signal your intention to enter the roundabout.
    • Stay in the right lane unless you are exiting the roundabout to the left.
    • Do not pass other cars in the roundabout.
    • Be aware of pedestrians and cyclists.
Here are some additional tips for cycling or crossing roundabouts on foot:
    • Stay on the walkways and only cross at designated crosswalks. If necessary, stop at the splitter island in the middle.
    • Pedestrians have the right of way, but be sure to confirm the path and speed of oncoming traffic whenever possible.
    • Do not enter the center island of the roundabout.
    • If a cyclist chooses to ride with the vehicle traffic, they must follow the same rules as vehicles follow and signal which direction they will go, just as a vehicle would. This includes giving pedestrians the right of way.
    • Cyclists should walk their bicycles at crosswalks.
What to do if you are in an accident in a roundabout

In the event of an auto or pedestrian accident in a roundabout, it is essential to stay calm and exchange information with the other driver(s) involved, and you should also report the accident to the police immediately. If you are injured, you should seek prompt medical attention. You should then seek legal help at your first opportunity. A personal injury attorney can help you to understand your legal rights and options and can help you to file a claim for compensation.

We can help 

Our team at Greg Linehan Law can help you to understand your legal rights and options after a roundabout accident and help you to file a claim for compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. Contact us today to discuss your case. We will fight to get you the compensation you deserve.

People driving in a convertible

Safe Summer Road Travel

By Travel
Summer is here, and it’s time to hit the road for a road trip!

Whether you’re traveling with family, friends, or solo, there’s nothing quite like hitting the open road and exploring new destinations. However, while summer road trips can be a lot of fun, they also come with potential dangers. Road accidents can occur for several reasons, including negligence, inexperience, distracted or impaired driving, and weather conditions. To make your travel experience as safe as possible, these are five essential tips for a safe summer road trip:

Ensure Your Vehicle is Roadworthy

The first step to a safe summer road trip is to ensure that your vehicle is roadworthy. Before you hit the road, schedule a tune-up with your mechanic to check all critical mechanical components, including brakes, tires, and suspension systems, to ensure they are in excellent condition. Make sure that all fluids, such as engine oil and transmission fluid, are at the correct levels. Check your battery and ensure the terminals are clean and secure to avoid jump-starting on the road.

Plan Your Route

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when planning a summer road trip is to rely solely on your GPS. GPS is undoubtedly a valuable tool, but it’s essential to know your route, including your starting point, stops to make, and your final destination. Having a general idea of what roads you’ll be taking and where you’ll be stopping for food and fuel will help you to stay grounded during the trip. Proper planning will also help you avoid getting lost and reduce the likelihood of accidents.

Take Regular Breaks

Driving for prolonged periods can be exhausting, and it increases the risk of accidents. When planning your route, make sure that you take into account regular stops to stretch, move around, and rest. Taking breaks also allows you to maintain proper concentration and reduce the risk of drowsy driving, which can be dangerous.

Avoid Distracted Driving

Distractions are one of the leading causes of road accidents. Distractions are anything that takes your attention away from driving, including using your phone, eating, or tuning your car stereo. Distracted driving can cause you to miss critical road signs, stoplights, and other drivers, leading to accidents. Avoiding distractions while driving can help you stay alert and reduce the risk of accidents.

Drive Defensively

Another critical tip for a safe summer road trip is to drive defensively rather than offensively. Defensive driving involves anticipating potential hazards on the road and taking proactive measures to avoid accidents. This includes following speed limits, maintaining a safe distance from other drivers, avoiding sudden turns or lane changes, and checking your mirrors regularly. Defensive driving is an essential skill that can help you avoid potential accidents, increasing your safety on the road.

Being safe doesn’t mean sacrificing fun.

Summer road trips can be a lot of fun and an excellent way to explore new destinations. However, they also come with potential dangers. By following these essential safety tips, you can ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable summer road trip. With proper planning, maintenance, and driving techniques, you’ll be able to focus on the journey and create unforgettable memories.

For additional summer driving tips, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration‘s website.

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