If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident and retained a Florida personal injury attorney, then you have probably heard that attorney talk to you about subrogation claims, liens, or other claims that must be satisfied from your personal injury settlement. Several strict rules are in place governing personal injury settlements. Some of these rules protect your private health insurance company (i.e. FloridaBlue, Aetna, United Healthcare, etc.), Tricare, Florida Medicaid, Medicare, or a Worker's Compensation carrier. If any of these entities or organizations have paid all or part of your medical bills and/or lost wages, you are obligated to ensure that they are reimbursed when you settle your personal injury claim. As this process has become more complex, some companies and attorneys have started to provide services in assisting with the resolution of medical liens or subrogation claims. After years of litigation and two trips to the Florida Supreme Court, the Florida Bar Board of Governors approved recommendations from its Board Review Committee on Professional Ethics (BRCPE) that would include having a judge oversee those arrangements and empowering that judge to change the compensation of your personal injury attorney and/or the attorney handling the lien. According to BRCPE's Chair, Carl Schwait, who was interviewed for the Florida Bar News Journal, "there is, in fact, a cottage industry [for lien resolutions]. Normal personal injury lawyers may not have the ability to do lien resolutions following the trial. They go out and hire people who have a specialty in this lien resolution."
I have to admit, I have not gotten on a hoverboard, but I have seen them all around my neighborhood and I have seen them on tv, the internet and have read numerous articles about hoverboards. I am hesitant to buy them for my children based upon the risks that come with the hoverboards and the lack of regulations that the toys have or warnings that the manufacturers give to consumers. I have done enough research that most people who do use a hoverboard do not use it safely and as a result....ER physicians are seeing hundreds of people with injuries because of dangerous falls that are occurring.
The Northwest Florida Daily News reported that last Thursday a 34-year-old temporary City of Milton employee was killed after being pinned between a garbage truck and another vehicle. At 7:10 a.m., the Milton man was collecting road debris on Magnolia Street and was in the process of putting the debris in the back of the garbage truck when another vehicle collided with the back of the garbage truck, pinning the 34 year-old male. The media release from the City of Milton said the male was pronounced dead at the scene. Moreover, the driver of the other vehicle, who is not being identified, was flown from the scene with critical injuries. A similar crash killed a 55-year-old sanitation worker in Destin in November 2000. A man was killed while emptying trash cans on Calhoun Avenue in Destin when he was pinned between the truck and a car that rear-ended the truck.
As parents, many of us have seen news reports of a flesh eating bacteria found in the Gulf of Mexico. We were dismayed to read on foxnews.com that a Florida man died on June 16th after contracting this disease/bacteria. Surprisingly, the state health department has yet to issue a warning. According to an article (sited below), Cason Yeager, 26, of Fruitland Park, Fla., died June 16, two days after he and family went swimming in the Gulf of Mexico south of Pine Island. He contracted a flesh-destroying type of bacteria called Vibrio vulnificus, which belongs to the same family of organisms that cause cholera. Vibrio vulnificus, a bacterium that lives in warm salt water, can be transmitted through contaminated seafood or an open wound exposed to seawater, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). When the bacteria infect the skin via open wounds, they release a toxin that can cause skin breakdown and ulcers. Illness usually begins within one to three days of exposure, but up to a week later for a small percentage of cases. Symptoms include fever, swelling and redness of skin on arms or legs, with blood-tinged blisters, low blood pressure and shock. Even an ant bite or any tiny wound can allow an entry point for the bacteria. Ingestion of the bacteria can trigger vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain.
Summer is here for many of us, and many of us who live here in Northwest Florida we spend the summer on the water. We own boats, paddle boards, surf boards, etc. We love the water. This is why it was alarming to see this investigation on the Today Show. According to Rossen Report, last year there were more than 4,000 boating accidents, resulting in 610 deaths. Now the nonprofit BoatUS Foundation, safety entity of Boat Owners Association of the United States, is issuing a new warning. "When you're tubing, you're going about 18 to 25 miles per hour," said Chris Edmonston, president of BoatUS Foundation. "And when you fall off, it can almost be like hitting concrete." To demonstrate the jarring affect, NBC national investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen went tubing, with Edmonston operating the boat towing him. When he hit the boat's wake, Rossen flipped over, slamming into the water as his tube flew into the air.
I found this article on WEAR fascinating and hope that our police departments over here in Northwest Florida take notice of what Gulf Shores is doing and try doing it themselves. Apparently, the Gulf Shores Police Department has found a way to use Twitter's Periscope App to help directly communicate with their residents.
A new research project showed driving in Florida will cause your insurance costs rank to among the nation's highest. According to insuranceQuotes.com, lorida drivers pay 12 percent above the national average. The report makes it calculations using quotes from carriers representing 60 percent to 70 percent of the market. Why? One factor is a state requirement that forces Floridians to buy at least $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection coverage that duplicates medical insurance drivers already have through Medicare or private health plans. That tends up to push rates in the few remaining no-fault states like Florida and Michigan, analysts say. Also, there's geography - which involves things like a higher risk of catastrophic weather, analysts say. Throw in some accident fraud and bad driving and there you have your above average premium
The Florida Supreme Court recently handed down a decision that I expect will change how school districts handle school sports. Parents of a former high school student who suffered ventricular fibrillation during a soccer game on a school field can now sue the school district for failure to use an automated external defibrillator (AED) on him. This is a change in Florida law since courts had already recognized that Florida law did not require the coaches and other school employees to do so. This reversal of Florida law provides an avenue for this family to sue, but it also exposes Florida public schools to financial liability far greater than they faced yesterday. What this means for the future of youth sports in Florida is anyone's guess.
Safety concerns over the Brooks Bridge have locals and officials asking questions. It is only a matter of time before the Brooks Bridge will be closed due to safety concerns. Local leaders have already heard from FDOT Secretary Ananth Prasad. Last May, he told area business leaders that the nearly 50-year-old bridge has to be replaced, or that it will eventually get to the point where it is no longer safe for travel. It has been deemed "structurally deficient" by inspectors. According to inspections, the bridge railings do not meet currently acceptable standards or a safety feature is required and none is provided. The approach guardrail ends do not meet acceptable standards and a safety feature is required and none is provided.
Unintentional pedestrian injuries are on the rise, just last week the Northwest Florida Daily News reports that a 12-year-old girl and 18-year-old woman were injured Tuesday when they were hit by a car while crossing Eglin Parkway. They were crossing in a crosswalk near Ninth Avenue when a vehicle turning south onto Eglin struck them. The crash is under investigation, but Cash said the driver's view might have been obstructed by traffic. The 18-year-old was taken to Fort Walton Beach Medical Center. The 12-year-old was taken to a Pensacola hospital with head trauma.