Do All Attorneys in Florida Take the Same Amount from Accident Settlement?

If you were involved in a car accident in Florida that was not your fault, you might want to hire an experienced and affordable personal injury lawyer in West Palm Beach. However, you may also be at a loss on the amount of money you’ll need to come up with for their legal services.

Read on to find out what you can expect to pay a personal injury lawyer that you hire to work on your case.

Contingency Fee for Car-Accident Cases

Car accident lawyers in Florida use a unique method to charge for their services. The attorneys will most likely take your case based on a contingency fee arrangement. 

With a contingency fee payment agreement, an attorney agrees to represent you and only gets their payment once the case is resolved in your favor. For the case to be in your favor, you must receive:

  • A settlement from the at-fault driver’s insurance firm


  • A judgment that favors you from the court if you filed a lawsuit against the defendant

You’ll only pay the attorney if your case results in either of the two successful outcomes.

How Much Contingency Percentage Do Personal Injury Attorneys Take?

Your lawyer will receive a contingency percentage of the money you will be awarded after a successful claim. 

The standard contingency percentage is 33 percent, or a third, of your settlement. However, the percentage may vary between 25 and 40 percent, depending on several factors, including:

  • If the attorney files a personal injury lawsuit against the defendant, the percentage may rise to 40%
  • If the matter is settled out of court, the percentage may reduce to 25%
  • If a lawsuit is filed but the claim is settled before the trial begins, the percentage may be set at 33%
  • The amount of recovery. For instance, a settlement of more than $2 million may attract a 20% contingency fee while recovery of $1 million may attract a 40% contingency fee

Why is Contingency Fee Arrangement Preferred in Car Accident Cases?

There are a few reasons why contingency payment is ideal for car accident claims. These include:

  • The injured party may have to undergo costly medical care, leaving them with nothing to offer for legal services
  • The arrangement provides the lawyer with an incentive to work harder to win the case and get a higher settlement 
  • Since lawsuits attract higher settlement claims from the plaintiff lawyers, insurance firms representing the at-fault driver may opt to settle the claim out of court

Other Fees and Expenses You Should Know About

Depending on the fee contract that you sign with the lawyer, you may have to pay other fees and expenses apart from the contingency percentage. 

Study your contract in detail to find out whether you’ll be responsible for paying for the costs associated with your claim. Such costs may include photocopying fees, filing fees, court reporter fees, the cost of obtaining your medical records, among others.

The contract may state that you are to pay these fees as they become due. In such a case, so you can expect the personal injury firm to call you once these fees arise. Failure to pay such fees may see your case halted.

However, some firms will cater for all the fees and expenses as they arise. The firms will then sum up the costs and deduct them from your settlement. 

For instance, let’s say your settlement for a car accident case was $70,000 and your contract stated that any costs incurred should be deducted from your final settlement. If your lawyer incurred $10,000 in expenses, then they will be reimbursed the $10,000 for the costs and expenses. They will also get $20,000 as legal fees based on the 33 percent contingency arrangement. Therefore, the total you’ll receive as your settlement will be $40,000.

The attorney should take their contingency percentage from the amount left after the deduction of the incurred expenses. If the contract states that the lawyer will take their fee before the expenses are deducted, look for a different lawyer.

Don’t Be Fooled by Billboard and TV Advertisements

There are many misleading advertisements on car accident lawyer fees. Some of the ads state that you will only have to pay for your lawyer’s contingency percentage when you win. This is not always true. 

The fine print of the lawyer fee agreement will indicate who will be responsible for other fees and costs incurred during your case. In most cases, the fees will be subtracted from the recovery amount. 

Are There Other Fee Arrangements?

Yes, there are other fee arrangements as not all lawyers will follow the pure contingency fee option. For example, some attorneys may require you to pay a retainer fee first, before they start working on your case. The lawyers may later collect their contingency fee after the case is settled. 

If you opt for such a fee arrangement, ensure the attorney subtracts their retainer fee from the percentage owned to them once the case ends.

Don’t Be Afraid to Negotiate the Attorney Fee

The contingency fee percentage is negotiable, and so is everything else in your contract. Many injured parties usually want to get their compensation as soon as possible. As a result, they often fail to negotiate the attorney’s fees.

If you are injured in an accident, you may be worried that if your case doesn’t go to court, you may not receive fair damages. On the other hand, your attorney may worry that if the case results in a lawsuit, they may end up catering to the different expenses incurred. Therefore, do not be afraid to negotiate with the attorney, whether your case ends up in a lawsuit or the settlement is done out of court.

If you have a pretty straightforward case, negotiating can result in you paying a lower contingency percentage. For instance, if there is clear evidence that the other driver was at fault and the defendant’s insurance company is willing to pay for the damages, you can negotiate a lower contingency percentage since the case isn’t complicated.

Finally, always request the attorney to provide the fee agreement in writing. If a lawyer isn’t willing to provide a written contract, this may be a red flag. Professional attorneys do not offer oral agreements.

Why You Should Get a Personal Injury Lawyer

If you were involved in a car accident, the at-fault driver’s insurance company will do its best to minimize your injuries and give you a low settlement. After all, the company isn’t in the business of giving out money. 

A personal injury attorney will help you build a strong case and ensure that you get the highest compensation possible for your injuries. The value of hiring an attorney is even higher when your injuries are serious. For such cases, your settlement should be higher, and the insurance adjuster will try all they can to reduce this settlement. 

Rather than leave your case at the mercy of the insurance adjuster, get a personal injury lawyer that has successfully handled car accident cases in the past. Working with an attorney will be your best option for getting a reasonable settlement.

West Palm Beach Parking Lot Attorneys

Did you know that you have a right to be compensated when you are injured in a parking lot in Florida? Personal injury attorneys in West Palm Beach can help you recover the costs you incurred for medical expenses and other damages as a result of the accident.

During the summer, there is no better way to spend the day in Florida than at the beach or one of the city’s parks. However, everyone seems to come out to enjoy the great weather, and this means one thing: overcrowded amenities. 

Most parking lots are usually crowded with pedestrians and vehicles. This explains why parking lot collisions are common in Florida during the summer.

Parking lot collisions can either be minor or severe. If you sustain serious injuries from a parking lot collision, you should hire an attorney to help you. 

Types of Parking Lot Collisions

Florida parking lots are usually full of vehicles and pedestrians. Therefore, it is no wonder that parking lot collisions are reported nearly every day. Here are the most commonly-reported collisions:

  • A vehicle backs into another when exiting its parking space
  • Colliding directly into other vehicles that may be around when pulling out from a parking spot
  • Rear ending other vehicles parked in the parking lot
  • Two drivers trying to pull into the same space at the same time 

What to Do When Involved in a Parking Lot Collision

When you are involved in a parking lot collision, it is important to know what to do. From the onset, you should document the event by gathering as much information as possible. Thoroughly documenting the event can be beneficial for your case in the long run.

Follow the following steps after a collision:

Call the Authorities

The first step to take after a collision is to call Florida authorities. If the accident occurred on private property, a law enforcement officer may be sent to the scene.

If the accident was in a parking lot of a privately owned store of business, the police may not necessarily make a report. However, you should still call to find out what the officers suggest should be done to handle the situation.

Confirm any Injuries

In most cases, parking lot accidents are low speed. However, they can still cause injuries. When your car is rammed by another driver, check whether you and the other passengers in your vehicle have sustained any injuries. Whether or not you have been injured, go to the hospital for a checkup on the same day.

According to Florida’s no-fault laws, personal injury victims are required to get treatment as soon as possible before filing a claim. It can be difficult for the insurance party to know how much settlement to offer when you don’t have a physician’s report outlining the extent of your injuries.

Document the Scene of the Accident

Use your phone to take pictures of the accident scene. In particular, take photographs of the vehicle, showing where it has been damaged. Also, capture the surrounding areas. 

If the other driver is claiming that he/she was obstructed when driving and this led to the accident, take a photo of the obstructing object. If you believe that poor weather or parking lot conditions contributed to the accident, take photographs to back up your claim. 

You can also take videos of the scene to get a 360-degree view of the aftermath of the accident.

Record Information from Witnesses

Unless you were getting in or out of the parking lot very late at night, it is likely that other people witnessed the accident. If there are people around, talk to them to find out what they saw. Record short statements from the witnesses and obtain their contact information, if they agree to it. 

Collecting personal information from the witnesses is important just in case you need to reach them in the future to ask something about the accident.

Exchange Information with the Other Driver

After an accident, it is standard practice for the people involved to exchange contact information. At the minimum, ask for the other driver’s contact information, their license, and insurance company. To make your work easier, simply photograph the IDs or cards that the driver will provide instead of writing information down.

Florida Law Regarding Parking Lot Driving

Some Florida parking lots do not have speed limit signs. However, the law requires car owners not to exceed 10 to 15 miles per hour when driving in parking lots. Apart from that, the standard traffic rules, such as obeying one-way traffic arrows and signage, apply when driving in the lot.

How is Fault Determined?

Florida authorities do not typically respond to accidents that happen in private property. Therefore, the parties involved have to determine who was at fault on their own. This is why it is important to take photographic evidence as well as witness statements to build your case. If the parking lot has surveillance cameras, the footage will prove helpful in determining fault.

If you are injured in a parking lot accident in Florida, contact a West Palm Beach personal injury attorney for an evaluation. While you can file a claim without the help of a lawyer, you are likely to be overwhelmed with the process. Moreover, the insurance companies and their adjusters are likely to take you for a ride, to the extent of denying your claim.

The law affords you certain rights when you sustain injuries in a parking lot accident. However, to ensure those rights are protected, you need an experienced attorney on your side.

How Much Compensation Are You Entitled To?

The damages you are entitled to after a parking lot accident will vary depending on various things. In most cases, the settlement will be determined based on:

  • The severity of your injuries
  • Whether you had any role to play in the events that led to the accident
  • How quickly you want to settle
  • Your negotiating skills 
  • The total cost of medical bills resulting from your injuries

It is prudent to hire a personal injury attorney to take over your case and handle the negotiations with the insurance company on your behalf. The attorney will keep your interests first and ensure you end up getting a fair settlement.

What Is Florida’s Statute of Limitations Deadline for Personal Injury Lawsuits

If you are involved in an accident or an incident that results in a personal injury in Florida, your West Palm Beach personal injury lawyer may advise you to file a lawsuit or an insurance claim against the defendant. 

The attorney may also inform you of some laws that may affect your injury claim. One such crucial law is the statute of limitations. This law comes into play in personal injury lawsuits and insurance claims in Florida. You should have an idea of how the statutory law works and why you need to act quickly when filing a lawsuit. 

Read on for a breakdown of everything you need to know about Florida personal injury statutes of limitations. 

What is the Florida Personal Injury Statutory Law?

Statutory law, also known as the statute of limitations, provides the time limit after your injury before which you can file a personal injury lawsuit. 

It is important to know the statute of limitations for your injury case. This is because if the time limit passes before you file a lawsuit, you will lose your rights to pursue the claim in a civil court or to receive compensation for the injuries.

Statute of Limitations for Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Florida

Statutory laws vary from state to state. According to Florida Statutes Annotated Section 95.11 (3), personal injury victims have up to four years to file a lawsuit to get compensation. The deadline starts immediately on the date of your injury.

What if You File a Lawsuit After the Deadline of the Statute of Limitations?

If you don’t file a lawsuit within the four-year deadline, the court will dismiss your case. 

Even if you go ahead and file a lawsuit after the deadline and the defendant finds out, he/she can propose a motion to dismiss your case. The court will most likely agree with the defendant and dismiss your lawsuit. 

The statute of limitations also applies when you decide not to file a formal lawsuit against the defendant but, instead, choose to negotiate with them outside the court system. When the defendant’s insurance company realizes that the four-year deadline has passed, they may fail to compensate you. 

After the expiry of the deadline set in statutory laws, you have no leverage on a claim or entitlement to any amount of compensation. 

Exceptions to the Florida Personal Injury Statute of Limitation

There are exceptional cases when the personal injury statute of limitations’ clock may be delayed or paused. 

In such scenarios, the deadline to file your lawsuit may be extended past the four-year period. These exceptions are outlined in Florida Statute Section 95.051 and include:

1. When the Rule of Discovery Applies

The discovery rule applies in instances where a personal injury victim wasn’t aware that they were injured until much later. In such a case, the discovery rule will extend the time over which you can file a lawsuit.

For instance, suppose you were working at an asbestos company and the frequent exposure to harmful chemicals leaves you with mesothelioma. However, you may not have discovered the illness until many years after you had left the asbestos company. In such an instance, the statute of limitations deadline will begin the day you discover the link between working at the asbestos company and the disease.

2. Tolling Cases

Tolling refers to temporarily delaying or pausing the statute of limitations due to situations that are beyond a victim’s control. These situations often make it impossible for a lawsuit to move forward. As a result, the deadline will be paused in the interest of justice. 

Examples of cases where tolling may apply include:

  • If you are incapacitated due to a permanent or temporary mental or physical injury that happened at the time of the accident. However, this extension is not open-ended. There is a 7-year limit from the time the accident happened and the time you will have to file the lawsuit. This means that you should file the lawsuit within seven years after the incident.
  • If, after the accident, the defendant left Florida for another state before you could file the lawsuit. In this case, you’ll have to wait for the person to become a Florida resident to file the lawsuit.
  • If you were a minor at the time that the incident occurred. However, the 7-year deadline also applies in this case.
  • If the defendant tried to conceal their identity such that it was impossible for you to serve them the lawsuit summons or to file the lawsuit

3. Statute of Response

The statute of response law applies to medical malpractice and product liability injuries. For medical malpractice incidents, the statute gives victims up to four years to file a lawsuit, regardless of the date when the injury was discovered. 

However, there are cases when the statute of limitations may be extended, e.g., when the doctor commits fraud to conceal the patient’s injuries. In such a scenario, the statutory deadline will be extended by two more years. However, the claim must be filed within seven years after the injury occurred.

For product liability injuries, the statute of limitations deadline is four years after the date of the injury. However, according to Florida statute 95.031, the useful years of most products is ten years or less. Therefore, injured persons in product liability cases can only file their claims within 12 years after they purchased the product.

4. Personal Injury Claims Against the Government

If your personal injury claim is against the government or a public entity, the statute of limitations may be different. 

For instance, if you were injured due to the negligence of a worker who was responsible for maintaining a municipal property, you may have to sue the municipal council. Your injury case against the public entity will be subjected to different laws from the standard personal injury cases. The statutory limitations for this case may also be shorter than the four years.

Get Help from a Florida Personal Injury Attorney

The above are not the only scenarios where the statute of limitations deadline can be extended. To learn more about the limitations and how they apply to your case, consult a personal injury attorney. The lawyer will advise you on other exceptions that may be valid in your injury case.

Even if you choose to negotiate with the defendant out of court, talk to an attorney. The lawyer will keep the statutory laws in mind and ensure the negotiations don’t continue past the four-year deadline. This means you will have leverage, in case you aren’t satisfied with the direction that the negotiations are going and opt to file a lawsuit.

Personal injury lawyers are skilled and experienced in handling various types of injury cases. Your attorney will build a strong case to increase your chances of getting fair compensation for your injuries.


Are you a victim of a case of personal injury? There is a certain step you need to take before searching for West Palm Beach injury attorneys. The process might look like this: getting adequate treatment, calling West Palm Beach attorneys, and spending the required period of time to recover from the injury. Where in that chain of steps does social media come in?

In the priority of things here, your health is important. Immediately, after an accident, you should seek adequate treatment, ‘safety first’ should be the watchword. If you now decide to go to social media to post pictures even before seeking treatment, you are putting the horse before the cart. In fact, this will seem like you are not concerned about your health at all. But we are in an attention-driven world.

You want to tell your friends the latest happenings around you. You want to be liked. You want to earn some sympathy, a lot of likes and a lot of followers to make Mahatma Gandhi bow at your feet. Big mistake! Social media can sabotage your injury claims if you don’t know.

Insurance companies do not want to pay you the amount you deserve in terms of compensation. Without the services of West Palm Beach attorneys, you might be given pennies and stipends instead of the required amount. To find a way to cut this cost, insurance companies have developed many ways to negotiate and bring your claim for compensation down. Your social media is one of their tools.

In this post, you will read extensively about how your actions on social media can be a hindrance in processing your claims. West Palm Beach attorneys will also explain all the details you are about to read.

Posting incriminating evidence on social media especially Instagram

Reading the new trend about the popular social media platform, Instagram, there are now more than 1 billion users, actively sharing videos and photos. In a month, the record says about 800 million of the users are posting. 71 percent of the total population of America is using the platform. And 60 percent of the said population check-in at least once in a day, uploading more than 95 million pictures between every 24 hours. Looking at this, it now seems Instagram is a fast way to connect with the majority in a short time. There is bad news for someone who is seeking personal injury claims.

Some pictures aren’t meant to be online for people who are putting up claims of injury. The pictures can be the beginning of the end of your claims of personal injury. A report, according to one case of personal injury in New York, shows that posting pictures online can sabotage your claims. In fact, that is worth rephrasing as ‘they will sabotage your claims.’

Reviewing a case of personal injury as an attorney: Smith V. Pasquale

Charisma Smith was involved in an accident and she posted pictures on her public Instagram account. The accident caused Smith an (alleged) enjoyment of her personal life. The pictures wouldn’t have been a course for concern, but some of the pictures show the woman engaging in activities that include walking on a sidewalk and mountain climbing. Also, Smith said in her claim that the injury was sustained to her knee and spine which had made enjoying life difficult.

During the case, Frank Pasquale is one of the defendants. He used the Instagram post of Smith to admit that if the pictures were truly that of Smith then her injury is not as serious as she claimed. He went further saying that Smith at some point after the accident changed her account from public to private. Seeing how this might turn out, Smith legal team ignored Pasquale motion and chose to seek a protective order instead.

John Higgitt, the court justice, denied the protective order, discovering that the motion to admit is about ‘clear-cut matters of facts.’ Smith was to answer if she has an Instagram account or not. If the incriminating pictures are checked, they could ruin Smith’s case.

Should this be allowed? Checking social media evidence in search of evidence?

Old tricks arrive in the modern age

Repeating what you have read earlier, insurance companies do not want to pay for what you claim. Lately, they have been defeating personal injury claims. They will aggressively find ways and tactics to cut down or completely ruin your claims. In that attempt, they will lift every table; turn up every rug to find evidence. And since one of the locations of finding information about someone is social media, they check that place too. 

Though we see surveillance as a debatable tactic used in the prosecution of crime, insurance companies depend on it in their effort to dismiss as many claims as they can. This might look wrong; a company that should be trusted with information is using surveillance tactics. The law, however, did not frown at it.

In fact, the law allows insurance companies to

  • Shoot video
  • Record audio
  • Capture still photos

So once an injured person can appear in public places, they can as well be taped. Does that mean you should be scared? No, there is a limit to the level of surveillance accessible to the insurance company. You are allowed to have complete privacy inside your house.

How does this information relate to social media?

Insurance companies are allowed access to your information in public places. For your social media account, if it is open to the public, insurance companies are allowed to access it. So, as you post pictures and videos on the internet and you make them public, know that this stuff can be accessed by many people and companies. It can serve as a tool for a defendant if you ever become a plaintiff.

Back to Smith’s case, once she has put the pictures online for public consumption, the defendant has the freedom to check them and used them to dismiss her claim. And so, she provided her opposition with the evidence which was used to defeat her.

Finally, it is advisable to be careful about what you put out there. West Palm Beach attorneys are always available to help in every situation. But they can not help when you have dug a trap for yourself and fallen completely inside as the example in this post. Stay safe. Whatever you put in a public place can be used to sabotage your claims.



A West Palm Beach attorney can help a person claim for compensation from a dog bite. Who is at fault or how to go about is another question. First, what is the situation and how can it happen?

Dog bites are predominately non-fatal injuries. The bite cannot lead to death easily, but that doesn’t mean it is an exciting experience to be bitten by a dog. In some cases, children are the victim. So imagine how painful and dangerous the dog bite is to a 3-year old. Now you see, dog bite should be prevented and avoided at all cost. 

Humans are not perfect. We make mistakes due to negligence or carelessness. So if someone else’s mistakes lead to a dog biting another person; this calls for the attention of a West Palm Beach attorney. They will help with their understanding of the dog bite laws.

The case of dog bites has been in existence since the beginning when dogs start living with a human. For a problem existing as long as this, there should already be a lasting solution. But no, there is no solution yet; children and adults are still liable to experience dog bites provided there are dogs around. Some communities and towns have taken the issue seriously, developing strict rules for raising a dog or banning the presence of these canines totally. If you live in a place like Florida, you will know there are no such laws or bans. So you have to act and protect yourself and your kids accordingly.

In some parts of the United States like the Miami- de county, some breeds of dogs are considered to be dangerous and have been banned completely. This is called the legislation of specific breeds. The ban has not yielded the result it was aimed to achieve because cases of dog bites are still occurring. So you might think of something better.

What if the dog owners are held responsible?  Dogs aren’t aliens falling from heaven. They are raised by someone, and if such person takes adequate care of their pet in terms of restricting their movement, feeding, and protecting them, then there would be no reason to meet a West Palm Beach injury attorney for a case of dog bites. 

Holding the owners responsible will make them be more concerned about the behaviour and the damages their dogs can cause. The more responsible they become, the more there would be a reduction in the cases of dog bites.

Will the owner take responsibility if her dog bites me?

Under the law, owners of dogs are responsible for dog bites. This is supported under the pursuant of Florida’s Dog Bites Statute section 767.04. There is a liability policy that strictly says that dog owners are to be held responsible if their dogs bite someone else. It doesn’t matter if the owner has been previously warned that her dog is likely to bite others. In simple terms, this says that dog owners should see it as a duty to protect other citizens from their dog’s bites.

No one is exempted from a dog bite. Dogs do not care if you are the oldest person in the city or the youngest, gentlest soul on earth. They could bite anyone. When it happens, the injured person won’t need to explain that the dog is poorly raised or lacks adequate care. The dog owner will be responsible, even if the dog has a clean record or not, the owner will be responsible. (A clean record can be in the form of past behaviour of the dog. Does it usually growl at people, has the dog bit someone else before?)

There can be a valid claim if and only if someone else dogs bite or cause damage to another person, and the injured is lawfully in a private place or in a public place at the time of the bite.

When there is a bite, the first step is to call the animal control in your locality. They would help treat the wound and verify the dog vaccination history so that the injured is not infected with other issues. Dogs bite can be infectious and the infection can be prevented using antibiotics.

Are there exceptions or other conditions that will not be considered?

Yes, there are exceptions. And you can find them under Florida’s dog bite strict liability rules. The strict liability will not be effective if:

  • The injured person has trespassed
  • The police or military dogs are performing their duties
  • A dog is vicious and damages to properties

If the injured has been acting negligently in some ways, there would be a reduction in the burden of responsibility on the dog owner. The percentage of fault will determine the size of each of the victims and the owner’s responsibility.

The negligence of dog owners in West Palm Beach

The law that affects West Palm Beach is the same as that of the whole of Florida. Owners of dogs will be held guilty or considered to have been negligent if any of their actions disobeyed the Florida law under the statutes related to dog bites. Examining the laws closely, below are the situations when the owner of a dog can be considered to be negligent:

  • The dog is found to be roaming freely without supervision around West Palm Beach
  • They allow their dog to walk around without using a leach
  • The owner is not acting reasonably about their dog’s behavior

Intentional tort

Most times the dogs make their own decision to bite or not. But their owners could also make them bite another person. This can be in the form of an action that provokes, incites, pushes, orders or encourages the canines to use their teeth on someone else.

This is classified under intentional tort. And the injured or victim can seek compensation for the injury which is best done with the help of a West Palm Beach injury attorney.

The Statute of limitation for dog bites.

You should act fast when considering when to choose a West Palm Beach personal injury attorney. The period for filing the case is within 4 years from the date of the incidence. If you stayed too long before you decide to seek compensation and four years elapsed, the law barred you forever from seeking compensation or any other legal restitution.



Cycling is cheap. In Florida, like many parts of the world, cycling is considered to be a healthy and convenient way of traveling around town. It is, however, possible to have cases of an accident with these bicycles. And the best people to talk to are the West Palm Beach injury lawyers.

If there is no accident at all, cycling is safer for the environment because it doesn’t give up harmful substances. It indirectly improves the quality of life of people living in the environment, because looking at a life that is not harmed is stable and safe.

If you live in West Palm Beach, you will notice the relationship between motorists and cyclists. It is either you hear complaints from motorists that cyclists do not obey traffic laws or you hear cyclists saying motorists are too selfish, wanting all the length of the road for themselves.

Both complaints are not true of course, but let’s look at it closely to see what’s going on around the town.

Certainly, there are a number of crashes between cars and bicycles in West Palm Beach. Usually, the bicycles are exposed to greater injuries and damage than the cars involved.  Looking closely at the causes of the accident, it was established that negligent and reckless driving is one of the main causes. The bicycle and its rider are prone to bigger challenges and damages during a crash, with many sustaining serious injuries or death.

A bicycle is a small means of transportation especially when you compare the size with other vehicles on the road such as cars, lorries and even motorcycles. Do you want to know the severity of the damage that could happen? For instance, in 2017, the number of cyclists who died after being involved in an accident with cars in the United States was recorded to be around 700. 

You might ask why the car drivers are somehow at fault. Why?

A driver has a duty to other road users which is to ensure the road is safe for everyone. As he drives, he should have it at the back of his mind that he has a responsibility to ensure the road is safer and secure for other road users and that he wouldn’t serve as a source of trouble. This responsibility also covers cyclists among the other road users.

So if the drivers act or take actions that lead to an accident, he could be charged with negligence. If he drives carelessly such as disobeying traffic laws or take any other action that is deliberate, he might be charged for negligence.

Many situations can be considered as negligent. They will be discussed below

Drunk driving or intoxicated driving

A person can be drunk with alcohol or intoxicated with other drugs. When in this state of trance, the ability of such a person to drive perfectly will diminish. They won’t see all the things required to be seen such as the traffic signs and that little cyclist riding in front of them, and they could easily knock the cyclist over.

Turning dangerously

Some drivers would turn suddenly at an intersection when a cyclist is coming from behind. They would do this as if the cyclist is not in the picture and should not be considered. If the cyclist isn’t careful, she might run directly into the car. The cyclist can even crash into the car if the driver has miscalculated the speed of the bicycle.

Usually, if the car driver does a sudden left-turn, this might cause panic, cut the cyclist path and cause a collision.  If the turn is a right-hand, the cyclist might have little options which are both dangerous; the cyclist might be knocked over by the car or forced to take the path of other vehicles. Whether it is a right or left turn; the cyclist might get injured or killed in the process.

In any case of the situations, the best set of action is to consult with a group of West Palm Beach injury lawyers. 

Improper yielding   

Some drivers would rather turn a deaf ear to the demands of other road users such as the cyclist even if the suggestion would benefit both of them. On the other hand, there are drivers that will yield in absolutely every situation. While totally opposite, these could both result in an accident.

Passing dangerously

Despite that a cyclist only needs a small space to move around on the road, many of the drivers will not give the cyclists enough space. This can lead to side-sweeping of the cyclist by the car’s side mirror. Imagine the car is a bigger one; the cyclist might be forced into traffic or pushed into other situations.

Ignoring the side mirror in a serious situation

Perhaps this is still part of the unwillingness to yield to the cyclist’s request. Some drivers will ignore the side mirror completely when making a turn or driving off the main road. Imagine a cyclist is driving beside such driver; there will be a lot of problems for the cyclist such as crashing, being knocked down or the car might hit the cyclist.

Not giving regard to the designated bicycle lanes

This is another cause of conflict between cyclists and drivers. Drivers are often too aggressive in approaching bicycle lanes. This can either scare the cyclist or cause a physical interaction between the two. It’s best if drivers respect the lanes designated for cyclists. 

Opening doors without much care for what is coming

This commonly happens when the car is parked. When such drivers open the door without looking out for the cyclist coming behind, he might knock him down, the cyclist running into the opened door. This could have been prevented by checking behind especially when the car is parked parallel to the road. All the driver could have done is to look at the mirror, wait when there is a cyclist coming at a close distance, and open when the bicycle rides past.

A cyclist can talk to a lawyer

If you are ever involved in an accident as a cyclist and the fault is that of the driver, you have the right to demand compensation. Schedule a consultation with a West Palm Beach injury lawyer to find out your legal rights..



Seventy-five million families in the United States rely on life insurance policies to protect their financial security and future. The residents of Florida own eight million individual life insurance policies, and their coverage averages approximately $130,000 per policyholder.

While estate planning, lawyers routinely handle matters pertaining to wills and trusts, after a person dies, most families are depending on life insurance. Moreover, the party who receives the payout from a life insurance policy is not determined by anything written in a will or in a trust.


As you know, when you buy life insurance, you name one or more beneficiaries who will receive the death benefit. Is that benefit subject to probate – and thus to taxes and debt collection? And what happens to a life insurance policy if the beneficiary has passed away or cannot be located?

Exactly what happens in the probate process? Should probate be avoided if possible? If you keep reading, you will learn some answers in this brief discussion of life insurance and probate.


In most cases in Florida, life insurance will be paid directly from a life insurance company to the policy’s beneficiaries, and probate usually is not required or necessary. Because it is not subject to taxes or debt collection, life insurance is not deemed to be a part of a policyholder’s estate.

But what happens if a policy’s beneficiary cannot be located – or is now deceased? If no beneficiary claims the benefit, it may be added to the deceased policyholder’s estate, and that makes the life insurance benefit subject to the probate process.


Probate” is the legal process that distributes a deceased person’s estate. The probate process typically uses the deceased person’s will as a starting point, because the will names the beneficiaries who will be entitled to a part of the estate when it is distributed by an executor.

Particularly with high asset estates, probate is often a lengthy and contentious process as multiple parties claim parts of the deceased person’s assets. If it is at all possible, probate is something to avoid – even if, in the end, the process has been fair and the estate is distributed properly.


Probate assets are those assets that a deceased person owned singularly and exclusively in his or her name at the time of death and any assets owned by both the deceased person and one or more co-owners that lack a legal provision for automatic succession.

If someone dies in the state of Florida with outstanding debt, that person’s estate will pay off (or will go toward paying off) the debt, and federal estate taxes may also have to be paid. (There is no state-level estate tax in Florida.)

However, when a death benefit is paid directly by an insurance company to a policy’s beneficiary, the beneficiary is paid the benefit in full, and there is no tax or debt obligation.

According to the Florida Bar Association, in this state, “A life insurance policy … that is payable to a specific beneficiary is not a probate asset, but a life insurance policy … payable to the decedent’s estate is a probate asset.”


Here in Florida, scores of people do not name a life insurance beneficiary. If no beneficiary has been named, if no beneficiary can be located, or if the designated beneficiary has passed away, the insurance company pays the estate, and the death benefit is subject to probate.

Probate is a complex and difficult process. Surviving family members who need help regarding any life insurance or probate matter should contact an experienced West Palm Beach estate planning attorney at once. Any failure to act promptly could be costly.


What is important to remember is that your life insurance policy’s beneficiaries need to be alive and locatable at the time of your death. This means that you may occasionally need to update the names of the policy’s beneficiaries.

Keeping your policy up-to-date ensures that the death benefit will not be subject to probate. Naming a second (or a “contingent”) beneficiary is a smart idea – in case your primary beneficiary dies or disappears before you can make an update.

What is also important to remember is that you are reading only a general discussion of life insurance and probate in Florida. Everyone’s situation is unique, so you must have the insights and personalized legal advice that an experienced south Florida estate planning lawyer can offer.


Beneficiary disputes over life insurance benefits can emerge when a deceased person changed a beneficiary before his or her death and there is a dispute regarding the validity of that change.

The courts in Florida will invalidate a life insurance beneficiary change if the change involved any type of fraud or undue influence or if the policyholder lacked the mental capacity to make such a change competently.

Most insurance companies have strict procedures in place for changing a beneficiary. A Florida court will consider the deceased person’s medical records, the statements of witnesses, and other evidence to help determine the person’s mental state when the change was made.


If you believe that you are rightfully entitled to a loved one’s life insurance benefits, and if your claim to those benefits is denied for any reason, discuss your situation with a good Florida estate planning and insurance attorney. You may be able to take legal action and obtain justice.

And if your family depends on you, it is not too early to begin planning your estate. Proper estate planning requires an experienced West Palm Beach estate planning attorney who will help you create legal documents which ensure that your wishes are carried out with minimal interference.

No one can know what tomorrow may bring, but a good south Florida estate planning lawyer will work with you diligently until your estate planning process is complete and meets entirely with your satisfaction.

And if the responsibility for a loved one’s financial affairs falls on you after that person’s death, reach out to an experienced Florida estate planning and probate attorney for the timely advice and legal help that you will very much need.

What Families Need To Know About Trust Disputes

Here in Florida, smart estate planning requires help from an experienced estate planning attorney to create the legal documents that you’ll need. Irrevocable trusts and revocable trusts are among the most popular estate planning tools.

What are the advantages of irrevocable and revocable trusts in this state? How are trust disputes handled in Florida? When is an estate planning attorney in West Palm Beach needed?

An estate planning attorney can create a trust to avoid probate and to expedite the distribution of assets after your death. Trusts in Florida are also a good way to protect certain assets and to avoid particular taxes.


Smart owners of extensive assets have used trusts successfully to avoid the probate court in Florida and to save beneficiaries money, time, and aggravation.

probate court in palm beach county

However, trusts are not a guaranteed way to avoid courtroom acrimony. Trusts are subject to litigation – meaning that they can be legally contested – in Florida. Trustees, beneficiaries, or others may challenge a trustee’s actions or the trust itself – and lawsuits will emerge.


In South Florida, an accomplished estate planning law firm should be contacted when:

  • You begin the estate planning process.
  • A trustee needs help administering a trust.
  • A trust is challenged or contested legally.
  • A trustee breaches his or her fiduciary duties.


A trustee and a settlor are two different roles, but one person can perform both functions. A settlor is the person who creates the trust and reserves powers with respect to the trust. A trustee manages the trust until it is terminated.


In Florida, the document that creates a trust that a settlor uses for asset distribution after he or she has died must be signed and must meet the same legal requirements as a will. The settlor must be of sound mind and free of undue influence when the trust is created.


There are a number of possible disputes and causes of action arising from revocable and irrevocable trusts. A cause of action may be brought for the following reasons:

  • The trust doesn’t meet Florida’s legal requirements for a trust.
  • The settlor was not of sound mind or mentally capable of making the trust.
  • Undue influence affected the settlor.
  • The trustee violated Florida law when trust assets were distributed.
  • The language of the trust document is confusing, unclear, and vague.
  • The trust should be changed or revoked.


A beneficiary in Florida may take legal action if a trustee breaches his or her fiduciary duty. Trustees have the duty to administer a trust properly and in the best interests of its beneficiaries.

lawsuit over trust

A breach of duty happens when a trustee:

  • does not make proper asset distributions
  • does not make a timely accounting
  • does not administer the trust in the manner specified by the trust
  • does not invest the assets of the trust properly
  • uses trust assets for his or her own advantage
  • pays him or herself excessively for service as a trustee

The Florida Trust Code allows a person who prevails in a trust litigation matter to recover lawyer’s fees and the costs of litigation from the trust estate.


When you are the trustee of a revocable or an irrevocable trust, your task will be easier from the start if you have cordial relationships with the trust beneficiaries – the people who benefit from the trust money. The wisest way to handle the concerns of beneficiaries is to:

  • Contact them early.
  • Explain to them your role.
  • Help them understand how long it takes to administer a trust.
  • Treat beneficiaries’ questions as opportunities to create good will.
  • Do not hide the trust document or the assets.


Here in South Florida, an experienced West Palm Beach estate planning attorney can help you in the prosecution or defense of any claim involving Florida trust law, such as:

  • A claim against a trustee: Your attorney can work to hold a trustee accountable for a breach of trust or for an abuse of power.
  • A claim against a trust itself: If you have been deprived of assets because of undue influence over a decedent, an estate planning attorney with trust litigation experience may be able to help you.
  • Third party lawsuits: A Florida estate planning attorney can defend the estate against claims filed for unsettled debts or for personal injuries.

emotional trust dispute

The disputes that can arise over a trust may be emotionally difficult for a family. If your loved one’s instructions have not been followed, or if a breach of fiduciary duty has occurred in some other way, an estate planning lawyer will help you act and help you resolve the problem.


Florida’s Trust Code, which took effect in 2007, provides several options – beyond having a trust declared invalid – for beneficiaries or others considering legal action:

  • Out-of-court settlements: Under the Florida Trust Code, parties may agree to a binding nonjudicial settlement regarding virtually any trust matter. Many lawsuits can be avoided when the parties can reach a private, out-of-court agreement.
  • Trust modification or termination: Trust disputes are often settled by a simple reformation, termination, or modification of the trust. The Florida Trust Code allows for trust modifications that are consistent with the settlor’s intentions.
  • Termination of uneconomic trusts: A court may terminate or modify a trust or may remove or appoint another trustee if the court finds that the value of the trust property is inadequate to justify the continuing expense of administration.
  • Trustee removal: The Florida Trust Code additionally allows the removal of a trustee at the request of all of the beneficiaries. Removal by request does not require evidence of malfeasance but only a showing that removal serves the best interests of the beneficiaries.


Anyone with questions or concerns regarding estate planning and trust litigation should speak as soon as possible with a skilled West Palm Beach estate planning attorney. Whether you are a settlor, a trustee, or a beneficiary, an estate planning lawyer’s help is your right.

Can Temporary Employees Sue For Work Injuries?

Temporary workers are a huge part of the U.S. economy in the 21st century. Currently, about four million people work in this country as temporary employees. That number should grow as two of every five companies in the U.S. are looking to hire temporary employees in 2019.

With so many people working as temporary employees, it’s important to know if and how those employees are entitled to workers compensation benefits if an injury happens on the job. If you’re a temporary employee, what are your rights if you’re injured? How can a West Palm Beach work injury law firm help?

Can you be compensated for medical expenses arising from a work-related injury? Will you have to file a lawsuit?


Temporary employees who have been injured at work are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits in Florida. Employers with four or more employees are required by Florida law to carry workers’ compensation coverage for their employees.

employees in the workplace

Workers’ comp in Florida:

  • provides workers who are injured on the job with partial compensation for lost wages
  • covers the medical expenses arising from job-related injuries
  • compensates permanently disabled workers

Temporary employees work for both a placement agency (or “temp” agency) and for a client company, but in Florida, responsibility to provide workers’ comp coverage falls to the placement agency unless the agency and client company have a contract that specifies another arrangement.


Still, a client company may in some cases be sued for negligence – if in fact, the company was negligent – when a temporary worker is injured on-the-job. This means that both employers could be held accountable for the damages suffered by an injured temporary employee.

If you are a temporary employee in the state of Florida, you need to know who is liable for any work-related injuries you may suffer. If the placement agency can’t or won’t give you the information you need, you should probably look for different work or a different agency.


If you are injured in Florida while working as a temp employee, you should follow the standard workers’ comp procedure. You must inform your employer within thirty days of a workplace injury or within thirty days of receiving a diagnosis for a work-related illness.

informing workplace of injury

Injured temp workers must inform both the temp agency and the client company. One of them should provide the paperwork to apply for workers’ comp benefits. If they don’t, get the form from the Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation, and speak to a workers’ comp lawyer.

Even though you are entitled by law to workers’ comp benefits if you are injured on the job, the reality is that most workers in Florida will face a genuine challenge when they pursue a workers’ compensation claim.


Temporary workers in Florida may not qualify for employment-based health insurance, retirement plans, or vacation time, but in other respects, temp workers are entitled to the same rights as full-time workers, including the right to:

  • a hazard-free, safe workplace
  • training in a language the employee understands
  • appropriate safety and personal protective equipment
  • report job-related injuries without reprisals or retaliation

Full-time and temp workers also both have the right to contact the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to request a workplace safety inspection.


OSHA tells us that temp workers face more job-related risks than full-time workers – and sustain more job-related injuries – because temp workers are always “new” on the job and are unfamiliar with the location and the standard procedures.

back injury at work

Significant workplace injuries are covered by workers’ compensation, but cuts, scrapes, and other minor injuries usually will not be covered. If you’re exposed repeatedly to toxic chemicals that cause headaches or other symptoms, you will probably qualify for workers’ comp benefits.

Medical attention is your first priority if you’re injured at work. If you are a temp worker, report the incident to both your placement agency and the client company immediately. Put your report in writing and hold on to a copy of it.


As mentioned previously, you have thirty days to report an injury to an employer, but do not wait thirty days. Report injuries at once. In south Florida, you should also speak to an experienced West Palm Beach workers’ compensation attorney immediately after a work-related injury.

Without an attorney’s advice, an injured temp worker may have difficulty obtaining workers’ comp benefits, but a good workers’ comp lawyer will see to it that your benefit claim is accurate, complete, and that no misunderstandings or mistakes will delay the payment of your benefits.

Employers and insurance companies sometimes try to deny the workers’ compensation benefits that an injured employee is entitled to. An employer or insurance company might claim that your injury occurred away from the workplace or that it’s not as severe as you claim.


If your claim for worker’s comp benefits is denied, let a workers’ compensation attorney help you appeal to the Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation. A workers’ comp lawyer can arrange for you to be seen by an independent doctor and receive a second opinion.

other doctors after injury

If you have grounds for filing a personal injury claim against a temp agency’s client company – or against another third party that may have liability for your injury – an experienced West Palm Beach workers’ compensation attorney can explain your rights and help you take legal action.

If you’re injured at work, exercise your rights immediately. A number of deadlines apply to both worker’s compensation claims and personal injury claims, so you cannot afford to procrastinate, and if you miss a deadline, you’ll receive no benefits, and no attorney will be able to help you.


You have the right to a good attorney’s help if you’ve been injured at work in Florida, and if you take advantage of your rights, it is illegal for an employer to retaliate against you in any way.

If you are not sure whether you qualify to receive workers’ compensation benefits or to file a personal injury claim, it costs nothing to learn more about your case and your rights. Your first meeting with a worker’s comp attorney will not cost you anything or incur any obligation.

According to the Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation, more than 50,000 job-related injuries were reported in Florida in 2018. That means whether you are a temp worker or a full-time employee, it’s not difficult to get injured at work in this state.

If an on-the-job injury happens to you anywhere in the state of Florida, exercise your rights, get the legal help that you’re very much going to need, and get that help immediately.

Are Pedestrians Safe In Florida?

Walking is supposed to be healthy for us, but simply taking a walk can be quite risky in some parts of Florida. The outcome can be tragic when a pedestrian is hit by a car, a bus, or a truck. And Florida is the most hazardous state in the nation for pedestrians. This is where a West Palm Beach pedestrian accident attorney help.

In fact, according to a report published in January 2019 by Smart Growth America, a D.C.-based advocacy group, eight of the nation’s top ten most dangerous metro areas for pedestrians are in Florida. The Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford area tops the list.


The following figures regarding pedestrian fatalities in the United States were released in 2018 by the Governors Highway Safety Association. From the years 2007 through 2016:

  • Pedestrian deaths rose by 27 percent.
  • Other traffic fatalities dropped by 14 percent.
  • Pedestrian deaths rose from 11 percent of all traffic deaths to 16 percent.

And in the first six months of 2017:

  • Florida and four other states accounted for 43 percent of pedestrian deaths in the U.S.
  • Florida was surpassed in the total number of pedestrian deaths only by California.
  • Florida reported 303 pedestrian fatalities.

Each year, more than 5,000 pedestrians die in the United States, and more than 64,000 pedestrians are severely injured in accidents with cars, buses, motorcycles, and trucks.


You might think that most pedestrian accidents in Florida involve shoppers or office workers in busy and crowded urban settings like downtown Miami or West Palm Beach, but that’s not always where pedestrian accidents happen in our state.

pedestrian safety in FL

Many of the pedestrians who are injured in Florida are injured far away from urban settings. They’re beside a dark, nearly-deserted highway, trying to change a tire or start a stalled vehicle.

Many of the older two- and four-lane highways in rural Florida have no sidewalks and lack adequate lighting – or any lighting at all. Some of these injured pedestrians include law enforcement officers making a traffic stop or conducting an accident investigation.


One insurance company study suggests that approximately sixty percent of pedestrians these days are “distracted” pedestrians, and distracted pedestrians can be almost as dangerous as distracted drivers.

Take a look at pedestrians. You’ll see them texting, talking on their phones, and listening to music. Some are trying to read while walking. Distracted pedestrians today routinely walk into traffic, buildings, parking meters, and utility poles – because they’re looking at a small screen.

injured knee in FL

Pedestrians don’t as a rule wear pads or helmets, so just being a pedestrian puts you at risk. If you hurt yourself due to your own carelessness, an attorney can’t help, but if you’re injured because someone else was negligent, speak right away to an experienced accident lawyer.


If you are injured as a pedestrian because a motorist was negligent, arrange at once to meet with a qualified West Palm Beach personal injury attorney.

The injured victims of negligence are entitled under Florida law to compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, and all other losses and damages arising from their injuries. A good personal injury lawyer will explain your rights and explain how the law may apply in your own situation.

injured pedestrian in South florida

Most Florida personal injury lawyers offer the injured victims of negligence a first legal consultation at no charge and with no obligation, so if you have been injured as a pedestrian, it will not cost you anything to learn more about your options and rights.

Injury lawyers work on a contingent fee basis, so injury victims pay no attorney’s fees until and unless a settlement or judgment is recovered. If you can’t work because you’re injured – and if the bills are piling up – you can still afford to seek justice and have your day in court.


Walking safely in Florida simply means avoiding the usual distractions. Don’t text or read while you’re walking. If you must speak on your phone, step away from the sidewalk and stop in a safe location to make or take the call.

After sunset, take a flashlight if you take a walk. Don’t walk where it isn’t well-lit. And don’t forget the basics, like looking both ways when crossing the street. If you’re injured while you are a pedestrian in this state:

  • Summon medical attention immediately. Then call the police.
  • When the police arrive, find out how and when you can get their written accident report.
  • Take photographs of the accident scene, the vehicle, and your visible injuries.
  • Get the driver’s complete contact details and insurance information.
  • Get the names and contact details of any eyewitnesses.
  • After your medical treatment, contact an accident attorney at once.


Here’s what conscientious motorists can do to lower the number of accidents that involve pedestrians in Florida:

  • Don’t eat, groom, or text. Don’t let kids, pets, the radio, or the scenery distract you.
  • Be alert. Always look for pedestrians. Be even more careful after dark.
  • Lower your speed and drive cautiously through construction zones.
  • Don’t drink and drive.
  • Routinely have your tire pressure, brakes, wipers, lights, and safety belts checked.
  • Stay up-to-date regarding recalls of defective vehicles and defective vehicle parts.


Every pedestrian is potentially a victim of negligence. You might be strolling on the sidewalk when a car, a bus, a truck, or a motorcycle careens out of the driver’s control. You could even be injured by a bicyclist or a skateboarder.

If you are injured by a negligent driver in South Florida – as a pedestrian, as a passenger, or as a driver – you must be represented by an experienced West Palm Beach personal injury attorney. Make the call as soon as you’ve obtained medical treatment.

walking in south florida

Florida is dangerous for pedestrians, but if you are an injured victim of negligence, the law in this state is on your side, and compensation is your right.