West Palm Beach Legal Blog

4 things to tell your lawyer after a car wreck

Motor vehicle accidents on Florida roadways are even more common than you think. In fact, in 2017, there were more than 400,000 car crashes in the Sunshine State. That averages out to nearly 2,000 automobile accidents every single day in Florida.

Following a collision, you may feel a variety of emotions. You may also have an injury, property damage or both. To ensure you receive fair compensation, you may need legal help. Here are four things you should tell your lawyer after a car wreck: 

Palm Beach sees rise in pedestrian deaths

Like many people who live in Florida, you may enjoy the moderate temperatures and the ability to be out on foot more than you might be able to do comfortably in other parts of the country. While walking can be a great form of exercise, it can also put you in harm's way when sharing busy roads with motor vehicle traffic. Too many drivers continue to make unwise choices and do not always pay attention to pedestrians.

According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Palm Beach County has seen an increase in the number of pedestrian deaths between 204 and 2017. In 2014, there were 34 pedestrians killed in the County. That rose to 37 the following year and remained at that level in 2016. Then, in 2017, a total of 41 pedestrians lost their lives in accidents across the county. It is important to note that from 2015 to 2017, the overall number of vehicular fatalities in the county dropped first from 187 to 181 between 2015 to 2016 and then again to 162 in 2017.

How to address a denied SSI claim

If you have become disabled and unable to work in Florida, you may have submitted a claim for disability benefits. One of these types of benefits is Supplemental Security Income and it is available to people who meet the qualifications which include income limits as well as meeting the criteria for being disabled. Unfortunately, not everyone receives an initial approval of their request for these benefits.

If you have been denied SSI benefits, you may appeal that decision. According to the Social Security Administration, your first option is to file for reconsideration. This has your case completely reviewed by parties who were not involved in the original review. You may also submit new evidence at this time if you wish. If this reconsideration also results in a denial of benefits, you may request a hearing by an administrative law judge. This person would not have been involved in either of the first two case reviews.

Restaurant owner sued after bartender death

Most people in Florida know that the state's laws regarding drinking and driving are tough but they may not always think about the various parties that may be identified as accountable or at least involved in a drunk driving accident. The fact of the matter is that an impaired driver may not be the only person targeted as contributing to an accident in which alcohol was a factor.

In some cases, a bar or restaurant where a driver was served alcohol might be pointed to as having some responsibility for a drunk driver's actions. An example of this can be seen in a case in which a man who worked for a restaurant eventually died in a crash. The incident took place in early December of last year but People magazine recently reported that the restaurant owner is now being sued for wrongful death by the deceased man's family.

Study calls into question safety impact of trucker rule

For commercial truck drivers in Florida, fatigue has long been an identified risk and safety hazard. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration instituted what it calls its Hours of Service rule to tackle trucker fatigue and improve safety. Essentially, the Hours of Service rule places limits on how many hours in a day or work week a trucker may work or drive. It also outlines provisions for when rest breaks must be taken and for how long those rest periods must last.

To force increased and documented compliance with the HoS rule, the FMCSA has also issued a requirement for truckers to use electronic logging devices to record their driving and stopped times. The ELD mandate has been somewhat controversial within the trucking industry but a collaborative study looking at the impact of this rule was conducted by researchers from three universities across the country. The results might be surprising to some.

Fatal workplace injuries and wrongful death suits

There is no amount of money that can fill the void and or make up for the trauma of losing a spouse to a fatal workplace accident. The purpose of financial compensation is to lighten the burden of expenses and lost income in the aftermath of a partner’s death.

Pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit may secure additional compensation for the pain and emotional distress the situation has caused, as well as the suffering of deceased. However, these proceedings can become complicated when they coincide with workers’ compensation claims. Here is what you need to know about claims arising from a work-related death.

Should you get that crick in your neck checked out?

Are you a Floridian who was involved in a car crash? If so, you might have ended up with a little twinge of pain in your neck either immediately after the crash, or within a few days or weeks. Though it may be tempting to write this pain off, it could be a sign of damage that needs treatment.

According to Mayo Clinic, whiplash injuries are one of the most common ones that you can face after a car crash. They are caused by the "whip-like motion" your head and neck make after certain impacts, hence the name. Usually, this motion is created by a forceful hit from behind. Rear-end collisions often end with someone suffering from whiplash.

On disability? Watch what you post online

If you are receiving disability benefits from the U.S. Social Security Administration, you understand that getting approved for benefits can prove challenging in and of itself. Once the administration agrees to grant you benefits, though, this does not necessarily mean you will receive them for life. Instead, your situation will typically undergo periodic review to determine whether you still need those benefits.

Now, in an attempt to reduce the number of people committing fraud and taking unfair advantage of the system, the presidential administration is proposing that it have access to the social media accounts of Social Security disability recipients.

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