Dog Bite/Attacks

Dog barking angrily and showing teeth

 

Surprisingly dog bites/attacks have been the reason for over a billion dollars in injuries a year. This number includes incidents where dogs have hurt bicycle riders, joggers, the elderly, and children by knocking them over and incidents where canines have bitten people.

Dogs are incredible animals; they truly are man’s best friend, but bites from canines may lead to significant scars/injuries and can cause loss due to the dog owner’s negligence. In that case, the owner can be held accountable. In the State of Florida, dog owners are held strictly liable if their dog injures another person. Pursuant to Florida law, victims are able to make a claim against the owner despite the dog owner having no prior knowledge of their canine’s inclination to sometimes be aggressive. On the other hand, if the dog’s owner knew that in certain situations their pet can become aggressive but did not take steps to protect others, they might be charged with dereliction of duty.

If injured by a dog, an individual can make an insurance  claim against the dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance policy, but be aware there are some insurance policies that exclude coverage for certain breeds like pit bulls, rottweilers, chows, etc.

After receiving proper medical attention for your dog bite injuries, it is helpful to note/collect certain information like the pet’s owners contact info, pictures of your wounds and the dog, the pet’s vaccination records, when the incident happened, where it happened, and if there were any witnesses at the time the incident occurred. You should also contact the police and/or animal control to report the incident.

At Hicks and Motto, we have seen many dogs bite cases throughout the years. Reach out to us if you have been a victim of a dog bite/attack and let us pursue your possible claim. Don’t go into a legal battle alone.

Questionable Tactics Insurance Companies Use To Lessen the Settlement Received From a Motor Vehicle Collision

Small car damaged from a motor vehicle accident

 

Automobile insurance adjustors want to save their companies money on every claim, so they will try many different ways to get a claimant to accept a low-ball offer, even if their claim might call for a higher compensation. One highly questionable tactic is the quick low-ball settlement offer that is extended by the insurance company shortly after the accident takes place. Insurance companies will do this to:

  • Blindside the claimant and bring the offer to their attention during a stressful time where the person might not be at their best to make an important/informed decision regarding settlement.
  • Get the claimant to accept the low-ball offer prior to the victim accessing all the damages and injuries, they have sustained from the accident, without the benefit of multiple doctor visits and/or diagnostic testing.
  • Have the victim agree to an offer that doesn’t represent what their claim is possibly worth Insurance Companies may also postpone/delay the processing of the claimants’ documents to try to get them to a point where they will accept anything to pay for mounting medical bills, car repairs, and everyday expenses they may be struggling to pay for after an accident. Furthermore, after not seeing any progress in a claim people will sometimes drop their claims altogether which is a win for the insurance company.

The Bodily Insurance adjustor (the at fault’s insurance company) might reach out to a claimant just a few hours after an accident to try and get details from the claimant and get them to deny that they were injured from the accident. Therefore, never speak to the adverse insurance carrier prior to consulting with an attorney. Adjusters also may ask the claimant for a statement that is recorded but again this can negatively impact the victim’s claim, as this can provide the adjustor with information to give you less of a settlement. If requested, always respectfully decline, and contact an attorney.

Insurance companies may also send the claimant a medical authorization to execute, which will allow the insurance adjuster to obtain ALL of your medical records regarding your entire life. Signing this form will allow the adjustor to obtain every medical record/report generated by every doctor the claimant has ever seen. In summary these records can be used by the insurance company to make a case against the victim that they were not injured by the accident in question and again justify giving the claimant less money for their claim.

Here at Hicks and Motto, We deal directly with the adverse insurance company so you can focus on healing and getting back to normal. Call Hicks & Motto, 561-683-2300.

What are the elements of a wrongful death claim?

Car with damage from an accident causing a wrongful death claim.

 
 

Losing a loved one is never easy but losing a loved one due to the negligence of a third party is particularly difficult. Oftentimes, when we lose someone due to the negligence of others, we feel compelled to find answers, and we want someone to be held accountable for their improper actions.  In order to establish a viable wrongful death claim, however, there are three specific elements that must be met.

 

  1. Negligence:

In order to hold a third party accountable for the loss of a loved one, it is first necessary to prove that the third party had a responsibility to provide a duty of care to a loved one and failed to do so, resulting in damage or injury to another person. This is called negligence. Examples of negligence may include a driver who fails to stop at a red light causing a traffic accident that injures another driver, or a physician who fails to check his patient’s chart for allergy information prior to prescribing the penicillin that causes the patient’s death.

In cases where wrongful death may have occurred due to the negligence of a doctor, nurse, or other health care provider, negligence must be proved based upon an established standard of care. This means that the negligent healthcare provider’s actions must be compared to the actions of a reasonable healthcare provider in a related background to see if the established standard of care was met.

 

  1. Causation:

The second element that must be met is causation, otherwise known as the “but for” test. In a wrongful death claim, this means that the deceased would have lived “but for” the negligence of a third party. To return to the example above, the patient would not have died but for the physician’s failure to check the patient’s chart for allergy information prior to prescribing penicillin. If the physician had checked the patient’s chart, which is a reasonable standard of care for a physician, the physician would have known not to prescribe penicillin to the patient, and the patient would have lived.

 

  1. Damages:

The final element to be met is damages. This means that it is necessary to prove to the court that the loss of your loved one caused losses that impacted you and your family in a negative way. Some examples of damages are hospital bills, the pain and suffering endured by the deceased, burial and funeral costs, lost income, and loss of companionship. Unless proof of these losses is provided, the element of damages cannot be met.

 

If you have questions regarding a possible wrongful death claim, contact the attorneys at Hicks & Motto for a consultation free of charge. You have questions, we have answers.

 

 

Hicks & Motto are Proud to Announce Todd Cash Alofs Has Joined the Firm

Todd Cash AlofsHicks & Motto is proud to announce that Todd Cash Alofs has joined the firm. Mr. Alofs is a Florida Bar and National Board of Trial Advocacy Board Certified and “AV” Rated Civil Trial Lawyer with over 35 years of litigation experience. Mr. Alofs has obtained many millions of dollars for his clients both through jury trials as well as pre-trial settlements. Mr. Alofs shall be practicing in the areas of car crash, slip and falls, trips and falls and wrongful death. Remember if you or a loved one is involved in an accident, call the attorneys at Hicks & Motto, Where Results Matter.

 

 

 

 

 

What You Need to Know When You Have a Slip and Fall Injury and Possible Claim

Man holding injured knee after falling down some stairs.

 

In this chaotic fast paced world where you are on the go 24/7. Slip and fall accidents do occur and it’s amazing how just this simple incident can lead to major issues that can last a lifetime. If you get hurt because of the negligence of a business owner, a company, or another person, you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries and damages. If you want to pursue a claim, here is some advise:

First, you need to have evidence to demonstrate liability or why the person or company is at fault. Just because you fall at a business, doesn’t mean the business owner is liable. The evidence you collect and whether or not it would hold up in court will differ based on the case. In any event, since everyone has a cell phone with a camera function, it is crucial to your claim to take photographs of the area where you fell and of any substance that might have contributed to the fall, i.e. water, a grape, soap. In addition, if there were any witnesses to the fall, attempt to obtain the person’s name and telephone number, as their testimony as to what occurred can be very beneficial to the claim. Finally, preserve the shoes that you were wearing at the time of the fall, as they are now evidence regarding the claim. You should place the shoes in a safe area, and no longer wear them.

Furthermore, you need to seek the appropriate medical treatment to help alleviate the pain and discomfort, and ultimately lead to the resolution of your injuries. Not every doctor is trained to treat injuries arising from a slip and fall incident, sometime specialists are needed depending on the injury. Never delay, seek medical treatment immediately after the fall.

You can represent yourself, but you do have the option to retain a lawyer. Most people will say, “well I don’t have money to go see a lawyer”, but in the State of Florida, personal injury attorneys work on what is called a contingency, which means we ONLY get paid if we are able to obtain money for your claim.

Here at Hicks and Motto, we specialize in personal injury claims and have seen numerous cases and would love to be able to help you receive justice for your claim. We look forward to speaking with you and fighting on your behalf. Remember at Hicks & Motto, “Results Matter”.

Hicks & Motto Attorney Christian Kribbs Helps Uber Driver Successfully Challenge Town Ordinance

Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, law firm Hicks& Motto attorney, Christian Kribbs, successfully challenged a Town of Palm Beach ordinance used to fine an Uber driver. The Uber driver, Vincent Allora, was ticketed in the Town of Palm Beach; however, his citation was overruled and he will not have to pay a fine thanks to the efforts of Mr. Kribbs. The popular ride service phone app is currently considered illegal in multiple cities and Palm Beach County.

“It was beyond embarrassing, not to mention there was a young female who was waiting for a ride,” said Vincent Allora, the Uber driver who was ticketed. Allora said he was surrounded by three police cars and then slapped with a ticket by police for operating ride-for-hire services without a permit.

But after he challenged it, the town found he was not breaking any law. The driver is now back to work in Palm Beach. His lawyer feels a precedent has been set for all Uber drivers. “At this point, until they change the ordinance, it’s open season for Uber,” said Christian Kribbs, the lawyer for the driver.

“My guess is that they’re going to change the ordinance as quickly as possible. Until they do that though, it’s my opinion they did make a legal ruling,” he said.

Contact Hicks & Motto, 3399 PGA Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410.  (561) 683-2300 for more information.

Attorney James Hicks Obtains $1.3 Million Settlement for Driver Injured on Mall Perimeter

An insurance company agreed to pay $1.3 million to a woman who claimed a parking lot collision caused multiple injuries. The client was driving on a perimeter road near a lot at the Palm Beach Gardens mall when the defendant’s vehicle struck the front driver’s side of her vehicle. She claimed the defendant wasn’t alert for approaching vehicles. He claimed he did not see her vehicle until impact. The client was diagnosed with herniated discs at L3-4, L5-S1, C4-5, C5-6, and C6-7, a torn supraspinatus muscle in the rotator cuff of her non-dominant left shoulder, and aggravation of existing carpal tunnel syndrome. She underwent surgeries for all her injuries.

Case No.: 2013 CA 16741

Contact Hicks & Motto, 3399 PGA Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410.  (561) 683-2300

Attorney Michael Motto Named to Million Dollar Advocates Forum

Hicks & Motto congratulates partner Michael Motto on being named to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. The Million Dollar Advocates Forum is recognized as one of the most prestigious groups of trial lawyers in the United States. Membership is limited to attorneys who won million and multi-million dollar verdicts, awards, and settlements. Fewer than 1% of U.S. lawyers are members. Hicks & Motto has been representing the injured victims of car and motorcycle accidents, slip and falls, medical malpractice, and wrongful death since 1987. Hicks & Motto has built our practice on the principles of a strong work ethic, tireless dedication to our clients, personal attention to our clients’ needs, and documented results. We continue to receive referrals from our clients and other lawyers in the community, and throughout the state of Florida and the nation.

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