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Miami Personal Injury Law Blog

Talk to an Attorney Before Signing Papers After an Accident

“A signature always reveals a man’s character
and sometimes even his name.”
Evan Esar (Humorist)

Although they should, people don’t seem to give the same weight to their signature that they used to.  Today, most people give their signatures in a perfunctory and sometimes careless manner.  Actually sitting down to take the time to read every agreement, every set of terms and conditions, and every contract we are asked to sign on a weekly or even daily basis would take too much time and inconvenience, after all.  Here’s a piece of friendly advice for those being pressured to quickly give their signatures after an auto accident.

Don’t. Sign. Anything. 

Recently a nice young man came into the offices of Neufeld, Kleinberg, & Pinkiert with a bit of a dilemma that illustrates why this mantra – Don’t. Sign. Anything. – is one you should adopt for yourself and your family.  This young man, who we will, again, call Emilio, was involved in an accident when another driver ran a red light and caused damages to Emilio’s care and injury to Emilio.

Emilio’s lack of understanding of the weight of his signature cost Emilio potentially tens of thousands of dollars and kept him from being able to pursue the fullest compensation of medical bills and damages he deserved.

What’s our mantra? Don’t. Sign. Anything. Here’s what happened. The heading of the form Emilio signed simply read “Injury Release” with the immediate promise to pay $1000. However, in the details that followed, Emilio’s signature would mean that he agreed to release liability from any further compensation for the accident. Even though Emilio says he thought the $1000 was just the initial payment for damages, his signature at the bottom of that paper meant that he would not be eligible to receive compensation for any more of his medical bills or expenses even from his own insurance company.

The at fault driver’s insurance + Emilio’s own coverage would have been more than enough to compensate for the damages caused by the other driver.  Was the insurance company’s tactic distasteful? Yes. Was it legal? Absolutely. Did the insurance company win that battle? Yep.

So the next time you or a loved one are involved in an auto accident and the insurance company representative (no matter how nice and helpful they seem) asks you to sign something, you tell them your attorney told you…

Don’t. Sign. Anything.

Then call the offices of Neufeld, Kleinberg, & Pinkiert right away. We want to help make sure that when you are in an accident of any kind, no matter who’s at fault, you and your family get the compensation and protection you deserve.

Call our team at 800-379-TEAM (8326) today! Ask for Jason Neufeld or email him directly jneufeld@nkplaw.com.

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Swimming Pool Injuries

Electrical Injuries

With swimming season upon us, it is important to remain vigilant of the potential safety hazards that can ruin a day of sunshine and swimming. There is no better reminder than the tragic death of 7-year old Calder Sloan who was recently electrocuted in his family’s North Miami swimming pool. Faulty wiring to the pool light is the prevailing theory as to the cause of the electrocution. A pool inspector found that one of the wires from the pool’s light switch to transformer was not properly connected for grounding purposes – allowing 120 volts to flow to the pool’s light. Some think that this excess voltage accelerated the corrosion of the steel barrier encasing the light – and with excess corrosion, eventually water was allowed in the casing which electrified the pool.

A well-grounded system would have diverted the excess voltage to the ground rather to the pool.swimming pool injury attorney

Nine-months prior, a contractor was hired to fix the broken light. This company may bear some negligence – however some experts have also explained that Florida’s salty air can also cause electrical-equipment connections to corrode or loosen. As the pool is decades old, it may not have been maintained properly.

Usually, pools that were installed prior to 1984 have 120 volts going to the pool light – but also have a “step-down” system that reduces the 120 volts to just 12. If you own an older pool, consider having a licensed electrician verify that the wiring from the pool light switch to the transformer to the light is properly grounded via an independent grounding system.

Experts also suggest the same thing for landscape and driveway lighting – which should have a grounded low-voltage power source to prevent electrocution on a rain or sprinkler-soaked grassy lawn.

Keep a look out for buzzing noises, lights that flicker, fixtures showing signs of corrosion/rust – these are all signs that it’s time to bring in an expert. The Consumer Product Safety Commission warns about all pool-related systems that haven’t been inspected in years – sump pumps, power washers, and vacuums all need to be grounded – preferably using a Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI).

swimming-pool drowing lawyerIt is unclear if the contractor hired by the Sloans was simply a handy man or a licensed electrician. This is a common source of problems in South Florida. There are plenty of people who claim to have expertise fixing just about anything – but it is imperative, especially when dealing with electric issues, to make sure that the contractor is a licensed and insured electrician.

Drowning Injuries

Electricity, of course, isn’t the only danger associated with swimming pool injuries. To protect young children and medically-frail elderly – in 2009, the Florida Legislature enacted the Residential Swimming Safety Act – requiring four-foot high fencing around the pool. The fencing must be sufficiently set back so that, if a child were to cross the barrier, he or she would not automatically fall into the pool.

Of course, parental supervision is the most important step to protect against pool-drowning incidents involving young children. I have seen some parents hire a life-guard at swimming-pool parties at private homes so that someone always has their eyes on the pool.

drain-cover injury lawyerPool Drain Cover Injuries

Historically, the unremittent suction of pool drains was a cause of horrible injuries and death of curious children and adults who swam too close to their pool’s drain. In 2007 the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Safety Act was enacted by Congress to prevent drain entrapments. Modernized drains have safety features that prevent these kinds of injuries – however older systems may still cause a threat. Verify that your pool drain has a safety-vacuum release system, suction-limiting vent system, automatic pump-shot off system, drain disablement system, domed drain / VGB compliant drain cover or other systems approved to eliminate suction-related drain pool accidents.

Pool Infection Injuries

It’s important to maintain the proper amount of chlorine in your pool to avoid pool-related infections and illnesses. Hire a pool expert or test for appropriate chemical balance. The CDC provides instructions and suggestions here.

The death of 7-year old North Miami boy Calder Sloan is a tragedy and our thoughts and prayers are with his family. Hopefully, this will catalyze others to take pool-safety precautions so future lives will be spared.

Please call pool-injury lawyer Jason Neufeld at 305.931.6666 or
email him at jneufeld@nkplaw.com if you have any questions.

Related Swimming Pool Injury Lawyer Blog Post:

http://www.neufeldlawfirm.com/articles/drowning-the-leading-cause-of-death-for-children-under-five/

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Difference Between Collision and Comprehensive Coverage

If you have been involved in an auto accident, chances are you’ve exchanged insurance information with the other parties involved in the accident (or attempted to do so). You may have heard the terms collision coverage or comprehensive coverage used. Here are some of the differences between collision and comprehensive insurance coverage that you should be aware of as you pursue your claim:

How Collision Insurance Works

  • The damages to your vehicle damages (caused by the accident) will be covered.
  • Coverage is not dependent on the other person being at fault. Your coverage should work for you even if you are technically the one who caused the accident.
  • If the driver did not have insurance, your collision insurance will be especially important in compensation for damages

How Comprehensive Insurance Works

  • Is meant to work alongside collision insurance & therefore does not cover damages from collisions
  • Covers many other types of damages that are not collision related (sometimes called OTC or Other Than Collision insurance)
  • Comprehensive coverage could compensate you for damage done to your automobile by things like:
    • Natural disasters
    • Weather damage
    • Stolen Vehicle
    • Fire
    • Impacts with deer, dogs, possums or other animals

If you have been involved in an auto accident, before you sign a single form (even from your own friendly, service-oriented insurance company) call on the advocacy of well-trained auto accident and insurance specialists at

Neufeld, Kleinberg, and Pinkiert

Contact our offices for a free consultation 800-379-8326. Or email our friendly, responsive staff right away.

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Can I Sue For Wrongful Death If The Person Who Caused it died too?

“The Earth belongs to the living,
not to the dead.”
Thomas Jefferson

To put it plainly, since a deceased person cannot defend himself/herself, you cannot sue them directly.  But that’s not the end of the matter.

If someone you love has been the victim of a fatal accident caused by the negligence or carelessness of someone who also died, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim against that person’s estate.  The estate could be held liable for damages and compensation can be pursued. You’ll have a small window of time to submit your claim after the executor has given you a notification of death (usually about 2 months), so you’ll need to act quickly.

If you file your claim with the deceased person’s estate executor and that claim is ignored or outright denied, you’ll proceed with a lawsuit.  In any case, the sooner you contact a trusted wrongful death attorney, the better.

An experienced Aventura or Miami wrongful death attorney can help you understand your options for monetary compensation. At Nuefeld, Kleinberg, & Pinkiert, our payment philosophy is “No Win – No Fees or Costs”. If you have questions regarding pursuing a wrongful death suit against the estate of the deceased at-fault party, contact Neufeld, Kleinberg & Pinkiert, PA today.

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4 Things About Boat Accidents You May Not Know

“The more you know,
the more you know you don’t know.”
Aristotle

Most boating enthusiasts know what they know – that boating is fun and accidents on the water are not as likely as car accidents.  Our job with this blog is to help shed some light on what boaters should know but may not have considered. Hopefully it will be clearer and more helpful than a pithy Aristotle quote.

The truth is, the open water gives an illusion of safety that causes some boaters to lose their inhibitions, causing unnecessary accidents and needless tragedies.  Here are four things you may not have known about boating accidents in Florida.

1) “Most Dangerous Vessel” Awards Go to… Jet Skis & Open Motorboats

Open motorboats are by far the most dangerous vessels on the water. Some 58% of fatalities on the water happen as a result of an open motorboat accident. Nonfatal, but serious injury accidents occur most often (more than 30%) on jet skis and personal watercrafts. Kayaks, canoes, and cabin motorboats are the least offenders in boating accidents, but still make the list.

2) Alcohol Wants To Crash Your Boat

Like Nascar fans headed to the track, wanting to see a wreck, alcohol wants to take over when it comes to the boat party.  Especially if you’re operating the boat, don’t let it. The lead contributing factor to boating accidents is alcohol (more than 1/3). Again, losing your inhibitions is what leads to unnecessary, preventable accidents on the water.

3) Boating Safety Courses Work (Seriously)

Operator inexperience is one of top 3 causes of boating accidents. Statistics show that close to 90% of boating accidents occur with operators who have never taken a boating safety course.  No matter how much experience you’ve had at the helm of a boat, the fact is, taking a simple boating safety course significantly reduces the chances of you or someone on your boat being wounded or fatally injured due to a preventable accident.

4) There Will Be Blood (or Blame, rather)

No matter how understanding and helpful everyone seems the scene of a boating accident, at some point blame will be assigned and liability will be required. Each year around $36 Million of damages are caused by boating accidents. You need to know what to do and who to call in case of a boating accident, no matter how serious.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a boating accident that caused injury or even death, you need to immediately enlist the skilled advocacy of a personal injury attorney. As experienced personal injury lawyers, Neufeld, Kleinberg & Pinkiert, PA attorneys understand the emotional trauma you are experiencing. We will diligently pursue the maximum compensation possible in your situation to account for your lost wages, medical bills, property damage, and pain and suffering. Contact either of our area offices to schedule a free consultation to learn more about your options for monetary recovery.

To schedule a free consultation with a Neufeld, Kleinberg & Pinkiert, PA attorney at, call toll free 800-379-8326, or simply complete the contact us via email right away.

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Preventing Auto Accidents After Big Parties

Be a Responsible Host/HostessAventura Personal Injury Lawyer Host Negligence

Probably the worst party host ever was a man named Phillip Vandamm. His first egregious misstep was choosing the wrong guest of honor an ad executive named Roger Thornhill, mistaken to be a spy named George Kaplan.  Second faux pas was having that wrong guest of honor kidnapped and forced to come to the party – Martha Stewart would never approve.

Then Vandamm totally interrogated his guest, asking several pointing and accusatory questions and getting nowhere. Concomitantly, he somehow forced the guest to drink bourbon – a whole lot of bourbon. Once completely inebriated, Vandamm then saw to it that his party guest was physically placed behind the wheel of a stolen convertible.

Just to be thorough, Vandamm sent his guest down a dangerously winding road, careening out of control along the edges of high cliffs steeply towering above the ocean. Somehow making it to the bottom of the mountain, guest finally had a run-in with the police – where he was no doubt arrested for drunk driving.

What say you? Worst host ever? By now you may recognize this story as the plot of one of Alfred Hitchcock’s most famous films – North By Northwest, starring Cary Grant.

Although none of us would dare force our guests to drink alcohol or to get behind the wheel of a vehicle as they leave our parties, there areas you may not realize you are liable for when when hosting a party at your home. According to MADD, every day in the United States another 28 people die due to a drunk driving accident.  Knowing how to prevent a post-party accident could save your guests’ lives as well as your own heartache and financial & legal liability as the host.

Here are some suggested “best party practices” that could save lives as well as protect you as host:

- Identify who’s driving at the start of the party and don’t serve them any alcohol

- Offer plenty of food if alcohol is going to be served.

- 2/3 of guests are said to prefer non-alcoholic drinks, be sure you have plenty of non-alcoholic beverages available

- Make the purpose of the party something other than drinking (dinner, movies, watching a sporting event, playing music, etc.)

- Refuse to serve alcohol to anyone under 21 and stop serving everyone at a predetermined time (possibly an hour before the end of the party)

- Be proactive to offer to either call a taxi, set up a carpool with designated drivers, or to let people spend the night there

- Of course, work to make sure no one who has been drinking heavily leaves your party and gets behind the wheel of an automobile

Taking these precautions and others like them can prevent an unnecessary drunk driving accident. Negligence as a party host could do as much damage to guests as intent. If one of your guests leaves your party and is injured or causes harm to someone else due to intoxication, you could be held responsible. Contact the offices of Neufeld, Kleinberg & Pinkiert immediately if this has happened to you or someone you love.  With over 90 years combined experience, we can help walk you through steps to protect yourself and your family.

Please call Aventura Personal Injury Jason Neufeld at 305.931.6666 or email him at jneufeld@nkplaw.com if you have any questions.

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Interesting North Miami Beach Personal Injury Related Medical Studies

By: Jason Neufeld

Smoking: Bad for Your Health & Healing

A British study conducted at the University of Lincoln, published in March 2014, shows that the quality of healing bone cells in smokers are inferior (divide slower) when compared to those same cells in non-smokers. Diminished cellular activity means a slower healing process.

Rotator Cuff Injuries: If you need arthroscopic rotator-cuff surgery…once may be enough.

The Orthopaedic Research Institute in Australia presented a study at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine conference in March 2014 that seems to indicate that the long-term outcomes of second / revision rotator cuff surgeries are likely to do very little long-term good for the patient. The results showed significant short-term (six months after surgery) functional improvement which all but evaporated by the two-year-post-surgery mark.

However, it should be noted, that the long-term results after the first arthroscopic rotator cuff surgery were substantial. It seems that the shoulder will reach a maximum medical improvement status post first surgery and return to that baseline even after a subsequent reparative shoulder surgical procedure. The lead scientist noted that this study substantiated the need for additional studies to identify ways to improve the long-term results of second or revision rotator-cuff surgeries.

Subconcussive Traumatic Brain Injuries

Another March 2014 study, published by the Wolters Kluwer Health organization, found head trauma could lead to detectable brain damage, even when the trauma did not result in a concussion. Concussions are thought of as a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI), however a “concussion” is diagnosed based on observed behavioral symptoms such as confusion, headaches, dizziness and nausea. Concussions were originally thought to be temporary – but recent research seems to indicate the likelihood of long-term effects.

The WKH study used a technique referred to as the “impact-acceleration model” to create diffuse axonal brain injuries in rats (diffuse axonal brain injuries show visible evidence of traumatic brain injury on a cellular level). Even when a scan showed a brain injury, the subjects (rats) did not always show a corresponding behavioral change (e.g. coordination, anxiety, depressive behaviors, balance or any other observable functional deficit) that the scientists would expect to see on a more pronounced/severe TBI. This has led to concern over what has been labeled “sub-concussive injuries.”

One prominent study looked at high-school football players who had been scanned and found neurological changes/deficits where no concussion had ever been diagnosed (i.e. no behavioral changes to lead to such a diagnosis) but had endured repeated blows to the head. More and more people, who have never been diagnosed with a concussion, are found to have long-term degenerative changes in the brain.

However, as this study focused on rats, the researchers were quick to note that further research is necessary.

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What About the Medical Malpractice Insurance Crisis?

Florida Supreme Court Rules Figment of Insurance Industry’s Imagination or Crisis Averted

Supposedly, the caps imposed by FS 766.118 discussed in parts 1 and 2 of this series, were designed to address a medical malpractice “insurance crisis” in Florida. Based on a report submitted by a taskforce set up by Governor Jeb Bush, the legislature claimed (in 2003) that the increase in medical liability insurance premiums has resulted in quality doctors leaving Florida, refusing to perform high-risk procedures or retiring early, thereby limiting the availability of health care. However, the Florida Supreme Court conducted reviewed the available data and has determined that the number of doctors available in both urban and rural areas has increased (and was increasing at the time the legislature enacted the statutory caps).
In addition, while many think of runaway juries inappropriately entering inconceivably large verdicts, studies revealed that this is by far the exception and not the rule. In fact in evaluating Florida cases which resulted in payments over $1,000,000, over a 14 year period, one study found that only 7.5% involved a jury verdict. Over 10% were resolved without a legal action ever being filed (reads: sometimes the doctors know and acknowledge that they made huge mistakes and willingly paid fair value). In fact, jury trials, constitute a very small portion of medical malpractice payments and settlements post-verdict tend to be significantly smaller than the original jury award.
The Center for Justice and Democracy reported that the so-called “crisis” is nothing more than an underwriting cycle. Every time the insurance industry cries crisis dig deeper and you’ll find a severe drop in investment income for those insurers compounded by underpricing of insurance premiums. In other words: the insurance industry was simply not making money due to causes wholly unrelated to malpractice claims (stock market, poor business decisions) and sought a scapegoat for which to blame their lack of profits.
In 2003, the deputy director of the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that he had found no evidence to suggest that there had been a large increase in the number of frivolous lawsuits filed in Florida, nor was there any evidence of excessive jury verdicts in the prior three years.
Furthermore no study has linked caps on noneconomic damages to any corresponding reduction in medical malpractice premiums. One study (based on data fro 1991-2002) showed the median malpractice premiums in high-risk specialties rise 48.2% in states with damage caps and rise 35.9% in states without damage caps.
In addition, data shows, that the number of medical malpractice claims being filed is trending downwards.
Finally, according to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, the leading companies selling medical-malpractice insurance are thriving and enormously profitable. This is a trend seen in auto insurance companies as well. Auto insurance companies are also always screaming and complaining about all the frivolous lawsuits causing the increase in auto premiums, while making money hand-over-fist. I discussed this in a former Miami personal injury blog post I wrote over a year ago.
According to the Supreme Court of Florida, in Estate of Michelle E. McCall, et al. v. USA, No. SC11-1148 (March 13, 2014), the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, and those who mine and study available data, in fact, there is no medical malpractice insurance crisis in Florida.

Read Part 1 here.
Read Part 2 here.

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Estate of McCall v. USA Court Rules Florida Caps on Noneconomic Damages Violates Equal Protection

The Florida Constitution guarantees that everyone is equal before the law and a rational-basis test will be used to evaluate whether the statute being challenged bears a rational relationship to a legitimate state objective and it cannot be arbitrarily or capriciously imposed. For example: whether the damaged parties in a medical malpractice wrongful death case should be subject to a statute that affords them different rights than similarly damaged people in a slightly different context (e.g. a wrongful death that does not occur by way of medical malpractice)? Or, in this case, whether caps make sense when more than one party is afflicted by the same act of medical negligence? If so, what would the rational basis be for doing so? According to the Florida Supreme Court, forcing three claimants to share one small pot of money when, in an identical case, one person might have access to that same pot, makes no sense. The former scenario is illogical and unfairly burdens an injured party just because a single act of medical negligence gave rise to multiple claimants – their individual rights to compensation are arbitrarily diminished. For example: If a wife dies, due to the negligence of another, leaving only a surviving spouse, that spouse might be able to claim  $500,000. If that same wife was also a mother of four minor children, there would be five claimants to that same $500,000. How is this fair? How can the legislature say that those five claimants are being afforded equal protection under the law? Limiting what one claimant can claim for his loss just because there are other people who have suffered losses is irrational. On a larger scale: “the greater the number of survivors and the more devastating their losses are, the less likely they are to be fully compensated for those losses.”

Other State Supreme Courts have struck down caps on medical malpractice cases by concluding that it is “simply unfair and unreasonable to impose the burden of supporting the medical care industry solely upon those persons who are most severely injured and therefore in most need of compensation.” Carson v. Maurer, 424 A.2d 825, 837 (N.H. 1980). The Florida Supreme Court concurred: “Section 766.118…has the effect of saving a modest amount for many by imposing devastating costs on a few – those who are most grievously injured, those who sustain the greatest damage and loss, and multiple claimants for whom judicially determined noneconomic damages are subject to division and reduction simply based on the existence of the cap. Under the Equal Protection Clause of the Florida Constitution…we hold that to reduce damages in this fashion is not only arbitrary, but irrational, and we conclude that it ‘offends the fundamental notion of equal justice under the law.’”

Read part 1 here.
Read part 3 here.

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Premise Liability on Cruise Ships- Stay Safe At Sea

Most cruise lines have a fairly robust plan in place to release themselves from culpability for any injuries on the premises or ashore at the scheduled destination.  If you and your friends are planning on taking a cruise or if you’re suffering an injury that occurred on a recent cruise, you should take the time to understand your rights.

Your first course of action is to make sure you have a plan to stay safe. Enjoying a few drinks throughout the day is part of the fun of being on a cruise – none of you has to drive home for several days. But completely losing your inhibitions and throwing caution to the wind altogether could lead to your own personal injury or damages to others on board & ashore.

Cruise Ship Loopholes
Cruise lines can try to limit your rights or completely release themselves from premise liability with the pages and pages of fine print at the bottom of your ticket.  In addition, clauses and specifications can dictate that any injury occurring shore side on any outing at the place you port.

Still, if you or any of your friends and family are injured on the cruise ship premises or on an excursion ashore (possibly as a result of having too much alcohol aboard), you should enlist the advocacy of Neufeld, Kleinberg, & Pinkiert right away.

Although International Maritime law allows up to 3 years to report your injury, Cruise ships often can include language in their release forms and the fine print of their tickets that limits the statue of limitations to just 1 year. Any claim after that period will likely not be accepted.

Your Vulnerabilities Aboard
More often than not, your family will be safe aboard a cruise ship. In spite of loopholes available to them, it behooves cruise lines do to their level best to make sure their passengers are safe and protected. However, here are a few of the personal vulnerabilities you should be aware of when boarding a cruise:

- Most cruise ships are registered in a country other than the United States.

- Most cruises travel into international waters where US Law may not apply

- International Maritime Law often applies when, for example, an incident occurs between individuals from two different countries on a ship registered in a third country along waters belonging to a fourth country

- Few cruise ship related crimes are ever reported and there is no known record of which cruise lines have the most crime

Most people that choose to spend the time and money to relax for a few days on a trusted cruise line do so with the assumption that they and their families are safe.  If an injury has occurred on such a trip, contact the Dade and Broward personal injury attorneys of Neufeld, Kleinberg, & Pinkiert right away to start the conversation as to how we can pursue the fullest compensation for you and your family.

For our Dade offices call 305-931-6666.  For Broward, call 954-523-8292.  Or contact us via email right now.

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Florida Supreme Court Rules Caps on Medical Malpractice Wrongful Death Cases Unconstitutional

Miami personal injury lawyers and personal injury claimants are sometimes limited in what they can recover under Florida law. For example, in a medical malpractice/wrongful death case, non-economic damages were capped.

A quick primer:

  • “Economic damages” refers to quantifiable numbers such as medical bills, property damage and lost wages that are relatively easy to quantify.
  • “Noneconomic damages” are more difficult to compute. Florida Statutes 766.202(8) defines noneconomic damages as: pain and suffering, inconvenience, physical impairment, mental anguish, disfigurement, loss of capacity to enjoy life and more.

For any medical malpractice case (wrongful death or not) Fla. Stat. 766.118 caps noneconomic damages at $500,000 per claimant, but verdicts may never be entered against a single medical practitioner for more than $500,000 (regardless of the number of injured claimants) – unless certain special circumstances apply or the practitioner’s negligence resulted in a permanent vegetative state or death, in which case the verdict entered may not exceed $1,000,000 (for all claimants against all practitioners) in a particular case.

ER doctors are afforded even greater protections: if a medical negligence claim is alleged in an emergency-medicine context, each individual claimant may never recover more than $150,000 in non-economic damages (and all claimants involved in one claim are capped at a total of $300,000 in noneconomic damages, regardless of the number of claimants) (F.S. 766.112(4)).

F.S. 766.112(6) limits Medicaid recipients, claiming medical malpractice, to $300,000 per claimant for noneconomic damages (regardless of the number of medical practitioners brought in as defendants), unless the claimant pleads and proves, by clear and convincing evidence, that the medical practitioner acted in a wrongful manner. However, no single practitioner may be liable for more than $200,000 in noneconomic damages (regardless of number of claimants), unless proven to have acted in a wrongful manner. If a practitioner has acted in a wrongful manner, then the other aforementioned caps will apply.

Recently the Florida Supreme Court, in Estate of Michelle E. McCall, et al. v. USA, No. SC11-1148 (March 13, 2014), ruled in a case that challenged the constitutionality of some of these caps on medical malpractice wrongful death noneconomic damages. The petitioners claimed that the statutory cap violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution, constitutes a taking violation of the 5th amendment of the US Constitution and violates several sections of the Florida Constitution, including: the right to trial by jury guaranteed under article I, section 22; the right to access courts under article I, section 21; and others.

Read part 2 here.
Read part 3 here.

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Florida A1A Accidents

“The road to perdition has ever been accompanied
by lip service to an ideal.”
Albert Einstein

From the lovely Dayton Beach to Miami’s South Beach, Florida state road A1A leads passengers, cyclists, skateboarders, and pedestrians along the beautiful coast of the Atlantic.  The namesake of a Jimmy Buffett album and famously rapped about by Vanilla Ice, A1A is an iconic roadway that has become a piece of Americana.

For all its history and fame, Florida A1A has become overcrowded and at times dangerous. As thousands of tourists pour in and out of our state, A1A is often filled with drivers unfamiliar with its intersections and turns. Traffic accidents and collisions are a common site on A1A. With visitors crossing from their vacation rentals to our beaches and back during high-traffic season, ugly auto accidents with pedestrians can quickly overpower A1A’s scenic beauty.

For residents who travel A1A on a regular basis or who cross over on foot to enjoy our beaches, it is imperative that we stay aware of the dangers.  If you or someone you love has been injured as a pedestrian or in an A1A auto accident, you should speak with a specialist who deals with A1A accidents on a regular basis.

The team of experienced advocates at Neufeld, Kleinberg and Pinkiert are well-equipped to help you and your family pursue the fullest recovery of damages as well as compensation for loss of income, emotional trauma caused by the accident, current and ongoing medical expenses. Traffic accidents, collisions, pedestrian injuries and wrongful death on A1A can involve a nuanced and complex set of issues that requires the skilled attention of the right auto accident attorney.

Call our offices today in Dade (305-931-6666) or Broward (954-523-8292) to set up an appointment with one of our responsive and detail-focused attorneys.  Or contact us via email right away.

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Cheap Does Not Mean Good, Choose Your Doctor Wisely

“Whenever a doctor cannot do good,
he (or she) must keep from doing harm.”
Hippocrates

Old Hippocrates was on to something. All physicians in the United States are required to take an oath named after Hippocrates, the father of western medicine. The Hippocratic oath, among other things holds to the highest standards of honesty.  Although most doctors and physicians here in Florida take this oath very seriously and faithfully uphold it’s ideals, there are some that through neglect or deceit slip outside the bounds of their pledge and commit medical malpractice. When this happens, sometimes people get hurt and some die.

Whether you’re looking for an affordable plastic surgeon, a family practitioner, or a reasonable specialist in a particular field, choosing the right doctor can be a tricky thing to navigate.  If you or someone you love feels you may have been deceived or harmed by a physician who seems to be less than reputable, call Neufeld, Kleinberg, and Pinkiert today. Let’s talk about what steps you can take to pursue disciplinary action and compensation for any damages you may have had.

Meanwhile, here are some helpful tips we may consider in choosing a doctor. As you look into the credentials of the doctor you are considering it would be well worth it to take a few extra steps to insure you are protected.

Medical Quality Assurance services allows you search any Florida doctor by name to check their medical license records. You can do a general Google search with your Florida doctor’s name and “malpractice” or “law suit”.  Some doctors have been known to commit malpractice in one state and flee to set up shop in another.

The team of medical malpractice specialists can help you know whether you have a legitimate case.  Contact our offices today to set up an appointment and enlist the help of trusted advocates.  Call Neufeld, Kleinberg, and Pinkiert today!

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Can I Recover Damages If I Caused The Damage?

There are a number of variables that may have contributed to the cause of an auto accident. Since so many factors are typically at play in a given accident, if you are in the unfortunate position to have been part of the cause of an injury accident or fatality, you should seek to understand what rights you have. In fact, you would do well to connect with the right attorney to see if you yourself are due damages from the accident.

Even if you are considered to be at fault, whether by the determination of the insurance companies, by the officer who wrote the traffic ticket, or by litigious accusation, it is important to enlist the advocacy of a trusted attorney to launch a thorough investigation immediately.  Factors that could have share responsibility in the cause of the accident should be explored.

Some of these potential causalities are:

- Systemic or direct pressure applied by employers to cause driver to push on beyond the point of being dangerously fatigued

- Auto manufacturer’s defects

- Neglect of municipalities and responsible agencies to maintain safe road conditions

- Poor signage and lack of imminent hazard warning such as construction, no shoulder, dangerous curves, hard-to-see intersections, animal crossing

- Insufficient safety precautions in clean-up of other accidents

- Other accidents that cause traffic congestion and road blocks

- Negligence to remove abandoned vehicles from dangerous locations

- A third party (employer, contractor, premise host) texting the driver with full knowledge he or she is on the road

- Host or hostess of a party contributing to driver’s alcohol intake and allowing him or her to drive home in an intoxicated state

The moment you are in an auto accident, one of the wisest first steps you can make is to call your attorney.  The firm of Neufeld, Kleinberg, & Pinkiert have over 90 years combined experience and can help you know what to say and what not to say in the wake of an accident you may have caused. Before you speak with insurance companies or admit to any kind of fault (no matter how clear it seems), give us a call.

Contact us via email to set up an appointment with one of our skilled auto accident attorneys. With offices in Dade and Broward and weekend appointments available, we can serve you with immediate advocacy for your case. For the benefit of yourself and your family, leverage our experience for your case. Call today at 800-379-8326.

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What To Do After Any Accident

Cleaning up after an accident can be a daunting task. Here are a few tips to help you know just what to do. Before you talk with anyone’s insurance company or make any recorded statements, take time to do these things to protect yourself.

Your Account

Take a deep breath, look around and try to put together in your mind the sequence of events that just happened. Who was coming from where? What went wrong? Who is at fault as you see it?

Write Down & Gather The Information

Take a moment to write down the date, time, license and insurance information, statements of any witnesses, and any high level details that may be important later on. Also gather accident reports and insurance declarations.

Don’t Give Any Official (Recorded) Statements Or Sign Any Forms

Insurance agents may ask you to sign forms that could potentially cause you to lose your ability to receive full compensation for damages. This may come with an offer attached to it. Do your best to give yourself time to consult experienced help.

Insurance companies (yours or theirs) will ask you to record a statement. Not necessarily a good idea to do this before you’ve talked with your attorney. You may find yourself saying things that could easily damage your case.

Wait For The Right Offer

Injuries incurred from an accident due to another driver’s negligence may make you eligible for more compensation than insurance companies want to pay. An offer that sounds really good, but still be way below what you need to recover. Here are a few things to consider:
• Property damage – auto repair or replacement, depending on the circumstances
• Car rental and towing when appropriate
• Medical expenses – past and future
• Past and future lost income or wages
• Hospital bills and medication
• Rehabilitation

The right offer covers at least all of those things. An experienced personal injury attorney can help talk you through any offer than comes your way.

Miami Car Accident Attorneys

With insurance companies and an exceedingly gratuitous amount of paperwork to deal with, you want an experienced and professional legal team on your side. The Miami car accident attorneys at Neufeld, Kleinberg & Pinkiert, PA, have the background you need, with hands on experience in winning successful judgments for our clients. The pain and suffering from a car accident can last a lifetime, and it is critical to have the best possible legal assistance.

Contact us today for a free consultation.

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