Drug and Medical Device manufacturers play an important and vital role in our advanced society. Their innovations are nothing short of amazing and should be encouraged and lauded. With these advancements come great responsibility to provide full disclosure of the inherent risks of use and to avoid putting harmful drugs/devices on the market. It is a trial attorney's job to hold manufacturers' feet to the fire and hold them responsible for short cuts in the name of profits at the expense of your health.
Medical device and drug cases are fact specific and require thorough investigation by a team of attorneys and medical professionals. We team with some of the best to evaluate claims and get results for our clients. We are currently screening cases for the following drugs and medical devices:
I'm a lawyer not a doctor so check with your doctor before making any changes to your medical treatment. Because I'm a lawyer I'm telling you that this is an advertisement designed to have you call my office to discuss a possible case. If you have a case I want to sign you as a client.
Circuit Judge Jorge E. Cueto says Florida's antiquated workers compensation law (Chapter 440 of the Florida Statutes) deprives workers of Constitutional Rights. A worker injured on the job in most cases is limited to very broken and unfair workers compensation benefits.
Is this good news or bad news for injured workers? Well, this is one of many rumblings challenging the almost 80 year old workers compensation laws in Florida. Its not dead yet. This is certainly signaling that the law needs to be changed but should it be dropped completely?
Workers Compensation has long been the exclusive remedy for workers injured on the job. An injured worker does not have to prove that the employer was at fault or negligent but merely that the injury occurred during the course and scope of his/her employment. In exchange for not having to prove negligence (Chapter 768 of Florida Statutes) of an employer, an injured worker must subject themselves to:
See the Judge's order below or
read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/08/13/4288124/injured-employees-cheated-by.html#storylink=cpy
My father and grandfather, both attorneys, tell stories of accepting and rejecting interesting fees for legal services.
Although the Model Rules of Professional Conduct go into great detail about attorney's fees, the basic mandate in Florida and Georgia is that fees for legal services be "reasonable." The Rules permit payment alternatives such as property or other items of value so long as the property offered as a fee is not the subject of the work the attorney is performing for the client or property in which the attorney has superior knowledge of the excessive (compared to the reasonable fee) value of the offered property.
My father, http://www.kenbikelaw.com/, worked for years in the US Virgin Islands where he often accepted food and drink from his restauranteur clients. One client, a sea food distributor, paid him in frozen fish. Ken recounts his favorite in-kind fee is a red carbon fiber Trek road bicycle accepted as part of a contingency fee agreement when settling a case for an injured cyclist.
My grandfather, family legend has it, once turned down a legal fee of 2% of a small start up food manufacturer called Frito, Inc. Of course Frito went on to become Frito-Lay... Ouch! Sometimes fees are not interesting because of what is paid but who has, or has not, paid. Another family tale alleges (lawyer talk for don't sue me) that my grandfather's office files contained a bounced check from the daredevil, Evil Knievel.
My firm has accepted art-work and even farm animals (no more please). Today, we are announcing that Law Office of Erik Rosskopf, PA will be accepting Bitcoin (BTC) as a payment alternative for many of our fee based services. The cryptocurrency is in its infancy and is experiencing wildly fluctuating value so become familiar with use of the BTC when using it to pay our or any firm's legal fees. Link to the Bitcoin page on the site to read more and follow external links that explain the ease of peer-2-peer transfer of Bitcoin.
Many of our cases are contingency fee cases meaning the fee is contingent upon a successful resolution and only paid from the settlement/verdict proceeds. Other legal services such a having a last will and testament drafted, incorporating your business, divorce, child custody, copyright, trademark, or defending criminal charges may now be paid in BTC for Florida and Georgia clients. Please call to discuss your particular matter. We provide free initial consultations and can quote services in dollars or BTC.
Its no laughing matter. Auto insurance contracts promise coverage limits for bodily injuries caused by a covered driver.
In Florida the insurance coverage one purchases to cover injuries caused to another is referred to as Bodily Injury or BI insurance.
Zero Coverage: A Florida driver may have as little as $0 of BI coverage leaving people injured by his/her negligence with little or no chance of recovery unless the injured party has un/underinsured motorist (UM) coverage (See your insurance agent today to purchase UM coverage).
Not Much More Than Zero Coverage: Many Floridians have slightly better BI coverage listed as $10,000/$20,000 (10/20) for Bodily Injury. This means that the most the insurance company will pay to an individual injured party is $10,000 even if his/her injuries are life-threatening AND the most the insurer will pay to all injured parties in a single wreck is $20,000.
Hope it is a Georgia Clown Car: Georgia has greater coverage limits of $25,000/$50,000 (25/50) called Liability limits (there are residency rules and time limits for changing vehicle registration and insurance when moving from state to state - blog for another time). In an interesting twist, Florida drivers who venture into Georgia and cause a wreck with injuries may, under very particular circumstances, see their BI coverage raised to the Georgia limits for covered wrecks.
So, the moral is: When you are hit by a clown car and 9 people pour out of the offending Toyota Corolla holding their necks. First, you should be glad you read this blog and called your insurance agent to purchase UM coverage and Second, you should call an attorney to protect your rights and access to your newly purchased UM coverage.
Why Do I Need an Attorney? The BI coverage from all at fault parties must be exhausted before an injured party can access his/her UM coverage. As long as there is BI money left on the table none of the injured people can get to their UM. A skilled attorney can navigate the mess that is Florida and Georgia auto insurance law. Being involved in a wreck in either state is not a windfall or a lottery ticket but as a person injured in a wreck you have rights to compensation for your injuries. An attorney can protect that right.
This is not legal advice but advice to purchase UM insurance and call an attorney if involved in a wreck... especially one with a clown car (Not an attorney with a clown car but in a wreck with a clown car).
Shocking concern about life insurance benefits. Did you know that a life insurance company can keep the benefits due to you upon the death of a loved one? That's right, they can put the benefits in what's called a retained asset account in their bank and give you check writing privileges on that account. They can limit the number of checks written and the amount withdrawn but here is the kicker, the life insurance company is making a bundle on the interest and giving the beneficiary a small cut of the interest earned on the account. If you have received life insurance benefits in the form of a retained asset account you may have a claim against the life insurance company. Consult with an attorney regarding the specifics of your situation. I'm not giving legal advice on this blog other than to suggest you get legal advice if this is happening to you.
They call them "Remote Texters." An article in the ABAJournal.com chronicles a New Jersey case that indicates that the person sending a text message to someone the texter knows to be driving could result in the remote texter being responsible for damages caused by the distracted driver.
A special relationship such as an employer/employee, parent/child, or even friends who have particular knowledge that the recipient is driving AND that the recipient is expecting an important text or unusually compelled to be distracted by an incoming text would have to be shown to hold the remote texter liable.
Is this going a bit too far? I can see an employer sharing some liability but if the distracted driver is working, the employer is likely responsible anyway. The fact that an employer sends a text to an employee known to be driving will pan out to be the clearest link to liability. Mom? Dad? maybe. Friends - I sure hope not.
Thus far, this is not the rule in Georgia or Florida but employers, parents, friends, you don't want to be a defendant in a case of first impression. If you know a person is driving, and you know that person is expecting an important message or unusually likely to check a text while driving, be on the safe side and wait until they are out of the car.
This is not legal advice. It is intended to inform you of an interesting development in automobile liability law. Don't text and drive. Don't even look at your text when you drive. They can all wait or you can pull into a Dunkin Dounuts get a coffee and an apple fritter and check your text messages.
Most, if not all, private disability plans have a changing definition of Disabled. Take a look at your plan. You can request a copy from your HR department.
You may not be surprised to find that the initial standard for being disabled is whether or not you can perform the essential duties of your job. In insurance company lingo, this is referred to as "Own Occ." It is the insured persons burden to prove that they are unable to perform at least one essential duty of their own occupation due to physical and/or mental impairments.
Where the surprise comes in is after a period of "Own Occ" disability, usually 24 months, the standard changes on you. Now it is the disabled person's burden to prove that they cannot perform at least one essential duty of any occupation. Yep, you guessed it, insurance companies call this "Any Occ."
Unlike Social Security Disability where the standard is whether or not the claimant can work at any job and earn about $1000 a month, private disability plans often define Any Occ as one for which you are qualified by education, training, or experience and that has an earning potential greater than some percent of what you were making before you became disabled. Beware of the changing definition. Your plan administrator is making plans right now to cut you off when the definition of disability changes from Own Occ to Any Occ. Although you will have a chance to appeal the termination of benefits you could be faced with several months or more with no disability benefits.
These cases are typically handled on a contingency fee basis which means the attorneys make no fee unless they win. It is critical to contact an attorney with experience handling private disability claims because you will have a limited time to appeal a denial of benefits and your appeal must set out ALL the evidence you will be relying upon to prove your case. If the Appeal is denied you can file suit in court however the judge will only hear the evidence presented in the appeal to determine whether or not you meet the Any Occ definition of disabled.
An attorney should contact all your doctors, send you for a Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE), and have a Vocational Expert (VE) analyze your skills, education and experience relevant to the job market in preparation for your Appeal.
Also beware, your private disability plan requires that you apply for Social Security Disability. They will even present you with a vendor of their choosing to represent you so they can monitor your Social Security Claim and keep an eye on you. Contact your own attorney who handles Social Security Claims. You do not have to use your insurance company's vendor.
This blog post is not legal advice for your specific set of circumstances other than to strongly suggest that you hire a lawyer if you become disabled. An attorney can help if brought in immediately upon receiving your denial or being informed that you must apply for Social Security.
Some clients tell me they want revenge. Other clients express concern that they will be viewed by others as seeking revenge. A negligence claim or lawsuit is not about revenge.
Revenge is the wrong reason to pursue legal action. In fact, our justice system has no damage category called "Sweet Revenge."
If you are hurt because of another person's negligence then you deserve to be compensated for your losses. Our courts are not designed to extract revenge but to attempt to make right a wrong through what are called "remedies." The way injury victims are compensated is by an award of money which a jury calculates to fairly reimburse the victim for damages. Those damages come in the way of "special damages," "general damages" and sometimes "punitive damages."
"Special damages" are those for which a receipt, pay stub or other document or testimony can be presented as evidence of the damages. The most common of these are medical bills (including future medical expenses) and past, present and future lost wages but they also include the cost of hiring help to clean, mow, do repairs around the house, a driver, home healthcare and other expenses incurred because of one's injuries.
"General Damages" are less concrete but a very important part of an injury claim. They are to compensate for pain, suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, disfigurement and other damages that can be proven even if one cannot put a dollar amount on the value of such losses. At trial, lawyers present evidence of such losses and ultimately turn the question of value over to the jury to decide the worth.
A third category of damages is "punitive damages." With punitive damages the court is punishing the tortfeasor (wrongdoer) for his actions. A further discussion of punitive damages is for another day because they are limited to certain cases where the bad actor knew, should have known or intended that his actions would do harm to a specific person.
Notice there is no "Sweet Revenge" category in our courts. There is not an extra 1 pound weight that one gets to put on the scale of justice to extract revenge.
My firm helps injured people recover compensation for the damages they suffer at the hands of others. We don't trade an eye for an eye or break the wrongdoer's knees but we do pursue your claim aggressively, professionally and with respect for all parties involved.
In a slip/trip and fall case the plaintiff, or injured person generally has the burden of proving that a business knew or should have known of the presence of a transitory hazard such as spilled soda, soap, or, well, vomit on the floor. Although that is not all a plaintiff has to prove, it is often the biggest hurdle to a successful resolution or even the existence of a valid claim at all.
In a plaintiff's complaint initiating a slip and fall lawsuit the lawyer drafting the complaint must be careful to allege facts regarding court venue and jurisdiction, ownership and control of the enterprise, the plaintiff's status as a customer or invitee, the presence of a hazard, that the hazard caused the fall and that the fall resulted in injuries to the plaintiff, AND that the business knew or should have known of the presence of the hazard.
Circumstantial evidence can give a plaintiff enough facts to get past an early dismissal called summary judgement. Examples of such evidence are a plaintiff's statement that the hazard was ice-cream that was completely melted at the time of the fall, or a stain on the ceiling indicating a long time condensation leak from the air conditioner unit, or vomit that had cooled from body temperature. These circumstances suggest that the substance had been on the floor long enough or with enough regularity that a responsible business should have known of the presence of the hazard. A judge in Georgia stated that cold vomit was enough circumstantial evidence to avoid summary judgement and allow the case to go to a jury.
Getting past summary judgement merely allows your case to go forward. The plaintiff's burden to prove the facts alleged in the complaint continues through the presentation of evidence to the jury. Your lawyer will engage expert witnesses to testify to the suitability of the flooring, the presence of the hazard, the length of time it was on the floor and the extent and nature of your injuries. Be assured the defense will hire witnesses who attempt to refute your experts.
The answer to the title question appears to be that cold vomit IS enough... at least to allow a jury to hear your case.
The moral of the post: Keep your eyes open, watch where your are going and by all means avoid vomit on the floor no matter what the temperature.
The office received notice yesterday that we were successful obtaining Social Security Disability benefits for a wonderful hard working woman who was struck down by serious spinal issues and Fibromyalgia (FM). Very interesting case. FM is not an impairment listed by Social Security as a Disability so we located a recent court decision that provided the level of impairment we had to prove our client suffered.
We were able to show the judge that she has a medically determinable impairment of Fibromyalgia. That requires that a claimant exhibit all of the following: 1) History of widespread pain in all quadrants of the body and axial skeletal pain lasting for 3 months or more; 2) 11 of 18 fibromyalgia tender points occurring bilaterally and above and below the waste on physical exam; and 3) evidence that other conditions that could cause the same symptoms or signs are excluded.
Our client had an excellent medical history that documented all we needed to prove her case. Without the medical record it would have been virtually impossible to convince the judge that her impairment was severe.
Disclaimer: This is an example of a good result. No case is the same. While we work hard to get favorable results for deserving clients this is no guarantee of our success. You should consult with an attorney about your medical conditions, work history, and living situation for assistance with your possible claim for Disability.
Shameless plug: In Florida and Georgia? Call us for a free consultation regarding Social Security Disability, or injuries suffered as a result of another person or company's negligence. The number can be found at www.1stcoastlaw.com
(904) 422-4323 in FL
(404) 421-4233 in GA
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Attorney Erik Rosskopf
An active member of the Florida and Georgia bar associations, he practices in Jacksonville Florida handling cases throughout North Florida and Georgia.