FAQ

What Is A Motion To Dismiss In A Florida Personal Injury Case?

Not every personal injury case that we handle requires that a lawsuit is filed, but when our clients are involved in lawsuits they often have questions about exactly what a Motion To Dismiss is in a Florida personal injury case. Motions to Dismiss are generally filed to test the legal sufficiency of a plaintiff’s Complaint.  In Florida, the Complaint is the initial document that a plaintiff files in order to start a lawsuit.  Complaints may also be called Petitions, and are referred to in other ways in other states. A Motion to Dismiss essentially asks a judge to strictly examine the contents of the Complaint, only.  A judge may not consider any evidence that may or may not be admitted into the underlying case. Motions to Dismiss are generally technical, legal motions, and usually only involve the lawyers involved in the case. Motions to Dismiss are usually not dispositive – in other words, they are usually not fatal or final (at least in the beginning.) Judges will almost always allow plaintiffs to cure any defect that the judge might find in the Complaint.  However, if the the plaintiff cannot cure problems in the Complaint after several tries, a judge can dismiss the case with finality. If you have any questions regarding a Motion to Dismiss, or litigation in Florida personal injury cases in general, please call us at...

How Will My Vehicle Repairs Be Handled After My Florida Car Accident?

Many of our Florida car accident clients ask this question when they first come to see us.  They are justifiably very concerned about how their vehicle repairs are going to handled after a Florida car accident, or who is going to pay if their vehicle is considered a total loss. The answers to these questions or concerns depend upon what kind of insurance coverage there is, and the facts and circumstances of the car crash, itself.   As long as the other driver (or really, his or her insurance company) accepts fault or responsibility for causing the crash, the other driver’s Property Damage coverage should pay for all repairs, or the total loss of the victim’s vehicle.  In addition, the at-fault insurance company — again under the Property Damage coverage of the negligent driver — will also pay for a rental vehicle while the damaged vehicle is being repaired, or until a replacement vehicle can be found (as long as this length of time is reasonable.  In Florida, every vehicle owner is required by law to carry Property Damage coverage (although the amount of coverage required by law is low, and often not enough to repair or replace a luxury vehicle or nice sports car.) However, there may be times when it is impractical to work with the other driver’s insurance company.  For example, the company may deny that its insured caused the crash, or may drag its feet in having an adjuster or appraiser look at the vehicle. This is where Collision coverage — which is an optional coverage in Florida — can become very handy.  Collision coverage pays...

Why Having No PIP Coverage In Florida Is A Really Bad Idea

Most people probably already know that motor vehicle owners in Florida are required by Florida law to carry PIP coverage on their motor vehicles.  Aside from being against the law, there are host of other, more practical reasons, why it is a really bad idea for Florida consumers to let their automobile insurance expire, and thus having no PIP coverage. PIP coverage (also sometimes called “No Fault” coverage) pays reasonable medical bills that are made necessary as a result of a motor vehicle accident.  Although there are some exceptions and recent legal loopholes (for more info, download our free PIP handbook here), PIP coverage provides people injured in car accidents $10,000.00 available to pay medical bills and other related expenses. Here’s why having no Florida PIP coverage is a really bad idea The cost of medical care is (generally) sky-rocketing. A few years ago, we typically saw emergency room bills totaling a few thousand dollars after a car accident.  In recent years, it is rare that we see an emergency room/hospital bill less than $10,000.00.  If an accident victim does not have PIP coverage, these bills will be become the responsibility of the injured person. Some people might think, “Well, the accident wasn’t my fault, so these bills will be the responsibility of the driver who hit me, not my responsibility.” Unfortunately, this thinking is misplaced. Ultimately, medical bills are the responsibility of the patient – no matter the cause.  If an at-fault driver denies liability, or if a personal injury case drags on over many years (as they sometimes do), unpaid and overdue medical bills remain on the...
Out At A Party – Shot And Killed.  Bar Guilty Of Negligent Security?

Out At A Party – Shot And Killed. Bar Guilty Of Negligent Security?

When you go out to a restaurant or bar in Central Florida for a relaxing meal or a few drinks with friends do you leave your home fearing that you will be attacked, raped, or shot at your destination? Of course not, and you shouldn’t. After all, Florida law (and common decency, by the way) requires restaurant and bar owners to provide reasonable security measures so that people can visit their establishments and enjoy themselves safely. I thought about this as a read a story on the WFTV.com website about a shooting that occurred last weekend at the Cool Breeze Bar near Sanford.  Tragically, a young woman named Oceanette Hampton died as the result of gunshot wounds. Although the event where Ms. Hampton was killed was called a “private party” in the news story, this does not generally change the legal duty owed to all of the patrons and guests by the bar owner.  In this instance, if the bar owners had any suspicion that anyone entering the bar was likely to be carrying a gun, the bar owners should do something about it. In cases we have been involved in in the past, bar owners who know that their nightclubs have been the scene of violence, attacks, or shootings, have had security frisk patrons for weapons, and also set-up airport-like metal detectors. Smart bar owners also often hire off-duty police officers to provide security, for their deterrent effect. Restaurant and bar owners who don’t invest in these common sense security measures can be exposed to negligent security claims. Our hearts go out to the family of Ms. Hampton. ...

Shooting or Attack At Florida Apartment Complex

If you watch the local television news in Central Florida, or keep up with local news on internet or local news websites, you know that attacks — and particularly shooting attacks– seem to be on the rise in Central Florida. Peaceful people are terrified about this, and rightfully so. Any time a person pays good money to an apartment complex for rent, the tenant has a right to expect that reasonable security measures are being taken. The question then becomes, “What is reasonable?” Reasonableness is measured by what the apartment knows or should know about the potential for danger or violence in and around the apartment complex. The more dangerous the area, the more security that may be called for. I recently shot a short video where I discuss how this works, and the responsibilities involved in operating or managing an apartment complex.     If you have been injured as the result of an act of violence or crime at an apartment complex anywhere in Florida, please call Winter Park personal injury attorneys Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill at 407-254-4901. Consultations are always FREE and without...

Burden Of Proof In Any Florida Accident Case May Surprise You

The scope of our law practice necessarily allows us to talk to people all of the time who have been involved in accidents.  Many people operate under the belief that just because they suffered an injury on someone else’ property, that the person who runs or manages the property is responsible for paying their medical bills and other damages (perhaps lost wages, pain and suffering, etc.) Unfortunately, most people are mistaken about this.  Just like a legal case, there is a burden of proof when it comes to any injury claim. If you have any questions following a Florida accident of any kind, and particularly any questions about how to prove the various elements of your claim, call Winter Park personal injury attorneys Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill at 407-254-4901.  Consultations are always FREE and without...

Hurt In A Florida Accident? When Should You Return To Work?

We are fortunate enough to get to meet with, and help, a lot of good people who have been involved in Florida accidents — from car accidents to trip & falls to injuries resulting from negligent security.  Many people come to us after having met with, and received advice from, other attorneys. One of the things that really startles me about the advice that other attorneys sometimes give clients has to do with wage loss claims.  As many people already know, lost wages directly related to an accident are recoverable as damages in a personal injury case.   For whatever reason, some attorneys seem to tell people that in order to maximize the value of their case (and particularly their wage loss claims) they need to stay home from work to the greatest extent possible after an accident. We have always questioned this kind of advice. Unless a doctor is telling an accident victim to stay home from work due to an injury, we believe that people who are injured in accidents should try to return to work, and also try to resume a normal lifestyle, as quickly as possible.  This is not to say that an injured person should do something that would obviously put himself at risk of exacerbating an injury.  But at the same time, we’ve always felt that juries seem to think more highly of, and reward, people who seem to be trying hard to resume a normal life – including work.  We have always felt that jury awards are bigger for people who are showing real effort.  After all, people are already skeptical about...

Numbness and Tingling In Hands and Arms After A Florida Accident?

As Florida personal injury attorneys, people come into our offices almost every day complaining of various aches and pains after their Florida accident.  While aches and pains can obviously be problematic, we become particularly concerned when our clients begin to complain of numbness and tingling down into their shoulders, arms, and hands.  Sometimes clients also complain of burning, and even parasthesia or a change in sensation. Unfortunately, these kinds of symptoms are often associated with an injury to a cervical disc — one of the shock absorbers the exist between the stacked vertebral bones in the neck.  When a disc becomes injured in an accident, the soft disc material can press into the spinal cord or the soft tissues surrounding the spinal.  When his happens, a person can being to experience the symptoms mentioned above. Check out this video to learn more: Symptoms such as numbness and tingling obviously warrant speedy medical attention.  Accident victims would be well-served to consider whether there will be adequate insurance benefits available to pay for what could be expensive medical treatment.  In some instances, a claim will need to be made against the at-fault party seeking money damages to help pay for medical bills, compensate for lost wages, and to help make things right for the someone who did nothing to cause their own injuries. If you have any questions following a Florida accident of any kind, or if you are suffering with numbness, tingling, burning, or other cervical disc symptoms, call Winter Park personal injury attorneys Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill at...

How To Get Your Ambulance Bill Paid After A Florida Car Accident

A lot of people get involved in Florida car accidents, and many of them are taken from the scene of the crash by ambulance. If that isn’t bad enough, many accident victims are at home recovering when they receive a huge ambulance bill. Fortunately, Florida insurance law if fairly straightforward on how ambulance bills are supposed to be paid after a car accident. Watch this video to find out more: If you have questions regarding a Florida car wreck, or how medical bills arising from a car accident should be handled, call Winter Park personal injury attorneys Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill at...

Injured? Learn about the Cullen & Hemphill Difference

Contact Us For a Free Consultation