Monday, January 23, 2017

Can You Appeal a Foreclosure in Florida?

When a trial court enters a judgment of foreclosure against you, it can be difficult to have that decision overturned. However, there are certain situations in which it is possible to overcome the trial court’s decision through one of the methods of appeal. The following are some of the options you have to appeal the decision.

Motion for Rehearing - This is filed with the trial court and requests that the court grant you another hearing based on facts or law that you believe were overlooked or misinterpreted by the court. There are often no opportunities to appear at a hearing on this type of motion, so it is imperative that the motion is as persuasive as possible.

Motion to Vacate - You may request that the trial court sets aside its judgment of foreclosure1 if a serious issue existed in your case, including fraud, excusable neglect, mistake, newly discovered evidence, or a similar legal basis.

Filing an Appeal - You may file a petition for the Florida District Court of Appeals2 to overturn the decision of the trial court. Homeowners who were represented by a qualified foreclosure lawyer often have a better chance of obtaining an appeal because legal issues must be preserved to be brought to the attention of the appellate court.

It is critical to realize that there are strict time limits for most appeals, such as 15 days for a motion for rehearing or 30 days to file a claim with the Court of Appeals. In addition, you want to ensure you clearly state all of the legal and factual reasons why you believe the judgment should be overturned or reconsidered and must support these arguments. For these reasons, you should always have a highly skilled foreclosure defense attorney drafting, filing, and arguing your appeal. 

Contact a St. Petersburg Foreclosure Defense Lawyer to Discuss Your Case

Whether you are about to default on your mortgage or whether you are seeking to appeal a foreclosure decision, the highly experienced foreclosure defense attorneys at the law firm of Berkowitz & Myer can help you. We will explore every option to help you keep your home, so if you have foreclosure concerns in or around St. Petersburg, FL, please call our office at 727-344-0123 today.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

3 Ways that Whiplash Can Affect Your Life after a Car Accident

Car accidents can cause a wide variety of injuries, including whiplash.1 Whiplash is a non-medical term that refers to injuries sustained to the soft tissues of the neck and back and can be thought of as a serious neck strain. It can occur in cases when a person’s head is snapped backward and then forward with significant force, as often happens in rear-end motor vehicle conditions.
Whiplash involve damage to the muscles tendons of the neck, making it an extremely painful condition. Some of the more common symptoms associated with whiplash include the following:
-Pain and tightness in the neck
-Decreased range of motion
-Pain when moving your head side to side
-Pain when turning your head to look to the right or the left
-Pain that radiates into your back or shoulders
Whiplash has the potential to affect victims in a number of adverse ways. Some of the more common are discussed below.
Whiplash Can Make It Difficult to Perform Daily Tasks
When your neck hurts, it can come as a surprise just how often you use it. Consider this, if you are sitting up reading this article, the muscles in your neck are busy keeping your head in place. Whiplash can make it painful to perform routine daily tasks, such as washing dishes, cooking dinner, showering or bathing, getting dressed, or any other tasks that may activate the muscles in your neck.
Whiplash Can Keep You from School or Work
When whiplash injuries are serious, it can require immobilization of the neck and bedrest. As a result, many people who sustain whiplash in car accidents are unable to return to school or work for a significant period of time. In fact, if your job involves physical activity of any type, you may not be able to return to work for weeks or even months after your accident. Consequently, for working adults, whiplash can result in a significant amount of lost income. Thankfully for victims, lost income is recognized as a compensable loss under Florida law.2
Whiplash Can Result in Significant Medical Expenses
Many people who sustain whiplash in car wrecks require intensive and ongoing medical care. Common treatments often associated with whiplash include the following:
-Prescription painkillers
-Muscle relaxers
-Lidocaine injections
-Muscle relaxants

-Foam collars
-Surgery, in rare cases
Depending on the severity of your injury, whiplash could result in several thousands of dollars in medical expenses over the course of your recovery. Fortunately, if your accident was caused by the negligence of another person, you will likely be able to recover compensation for these and any other losses you have sustained.
Contact a Clearwater Auto Accident Attorney Today to Protect Your Legal Rights
If you have sustained whiplash or any other type of injury in a car accident, you should speak to an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney may be able to help you recover compensation for the losses you have sustained as a result of your accident, including your medical expenses, property damage, loss of quality of life, and physical and emotional pain and suffering. To speak with a Clearwater car accident lawyer about your case, call the Dolman Law Group today at 727-451-6900 or contact us online.
Dolman Law Group
1663 1st Ave S.
St. Petersburg, FL 33712
(727) 222-6922

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Common Causes of Parking Lot and Parking Garage Injuries

Parking lots and parking garages can be found all over the landscape of America. While they offer easy access to shopping centers, schools, and office buildings, they also pose a unique danger.
According to a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), one in every five car accidents occur in a parking lot or parking garage. These locations typically contain a large amount of vehicle and pedestrian traffic, leading to a large amount of injuries each year.
Whether you are injured while driving or walking, another person may be liable for your damages, including car damage, medical bills, loss of wages, and pain and suffering. In certain cases, the owner of the parking lot or parking garage may be liable for breaching their duty of care to maintain reasonably safe premises.
Although parking lot and parking garage owners cannot be held responsible for all injuries that occur on their property, a failure to maintain reasonably safe premises may be considered negligent. Regardless of whether the property owner or another driver is at fault, an injury can have a dramatic impact on a person’s life.
Some common causes of injuries that can occur in a parking lot or parking garage include:
Poor pavement condition
Parking lot and parking garage owners are required to maintain the condition of their property to avoid foreseeable injuries. This includes filling large cracks and potholes in the asphalt and concrete of the lot or garage and fixing uneven surfaces that can cause pedestrians to trip and fall. Oil spills create an excessively slippery walking surface that can lead to a slip and fall accident, causing a pedestrian to injure themselves. Although snow and ice on the ground is not an issue for Clearwater pedestrians, an excessive buildup of these in areas where the ground commonly freezes poses a danger for those using the parking lot or garage. To avoid being held liable for injuries that occur due to these conditions, the owner of the parking lot or parking garage must act when the danger is made apparent or reported to them. Failing to do so can be considered negligent.
Insufficient lighting
Although a property owner should maintain the condition of their premises to avoid being held liable for injuries caused by those conditions, failing to provide adequate lighting can make pedestrians more susceptible to injuries. When there are cracks, potholes, or curbs that are not clearly visible because of a lack of lighting, someone can easily become injured, especially when natural sunlight is not available. Proper lighting includes sufficient fixtures along the parking lot or parking garage. When lights stop functioning, the property owner must make an effort to repair them within a reasonable time. Darkness not only makes dangers on the ground more dangerous, but also provides criminals the opportunity to lurk under cover. It would be unjustified to expect that the owner of a parking lot or parking garage should be held responsible for crimes committed on their property, but this may be the case when insufficient lighting is a reasonable cause. Since light is a form of deterrent for thieves and attackers, property owners would do well to maintain a proper amount.
Inadequate or ineffective signage
Another main cause of injuries in a parking lot or parking garage is signage that is ineffectively placed or not placed at all. To maintain order for drivers moving through the premises, there must be enough stop and yield signs. Appropriate signage must also be posted to alert drivers of pedestrian crossing areas. These may be signs or markings on the ground strategically placed to maintain the safety of pedestrians.

This is especially true for parking garages with multiple floors. A poor design at turns can contribute to an auto accident involving a pedestrian. When effective signage and adequate space are provided, a driver may be held liable for accidents involving a pedestrian. When signage is not obvious or poor design leads to unclear lines of sight, the property owner may be held partially or fully liable if these hazards contributed to the injury.
Negligent drivers
Not all injuries and accidents are the responsibility of a parking lot or parking garage owner. In situations where the owner of the property has maintained the condition of the premises and provided adequate lighting and signage as is their duty of care, a driver’s negligence may be the cause of injuries sustained on the premises. Whether the driver is distracted, driving recklessly or aggressively, or otherwise not taking proper care while in control of the vehicle, they may be found liable for injuries to another vehicle or person. Speeding through a parking lot or parking garage is dangerous because it may not provide adequate time for the driver to stop or slow down. This may be especially problematic during busy times when it seems that there are not enough parking spaces for all the cars in a lot or garage. Regardless of the situation, a driver must always take appropriate precautions to avoid causing damage to another vehicle or injuries to another driver or pedestrian.
While we should not fear parking lots and parking garages because of some inherent increased risk, we should always take precautions to avoid causing or sustaining injuries to another. This includes driving more slowly in these areas, where pedestrians and cars may be entering or exiting at all times. When walking, we should ensure that the ground in front of us is clear of damages, debris, or slippery substances to avoid tripping or slipping. If possible, alert the property owner of damages that need to be remedied for the future safety of other pedestrians and drivers.
Still, not all responsibility lies with the injured. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in a parking lot or parking garage, you should speak to an experienced personal injury attorney to review your case. Whether the injury was caused by unsafe conditions or a negligent driver, you may be able to recover damages.
For a free case evaluation, please call us at (727) 222-6922 or email us through our Contact Us page. At Dolman Law Group, we work to ensure that you are properly compensated for your injuries. Our work is contingent on the outcome of your case, so we don’t get paid unless you do.
Dolman Law Group
1663 1st Ave S.
St. Petersburg, FL 33712
(727) 222-6922

Monday, January 9, 2017

Negligent Driving Leads to Wrongful Death

When an individual’s death is caused by the negligence or misconduct of another person, a claim of wrongful death can be made in a civil lawsuit to recover damages. The claim would be made by the court-appointed legal representative of the deceased person’s estate, on behalf of the deceased person and his or her loved ones.
The main damages involved in a wrongful death suit can be classified as either economic or non-economic. Those that are considered economic include medical and funeral expenses, loss of the victim’s expected earnings, and loss of benefits or inheritance caused by the untimely death. These are financial considerations that must be taken into account when determining the rightful amount owed to the victim’s family.
Certain damages can be better classified as non-economic. That is, the damages that are less tangible and cannot easily be appraised. This can include the deceased person’s conscious pain and suffering experienced before death and the loss of services provided by the deceased person. They could even be as abstract as the emotional support lost when a family member dies due to wrongful death.
Although state laws provide guidelines and structure for wrongful death claims to be made, the cost of a person’s life cannot easily be exchanged into the dollar. But if criminal charges cannot be pressed, a civil lawsuit may be the only form of punishment available for the administration of justice.
On December 14, 2013, the lives of five individuals and their families would be forever changed. At a major intersection in Los Angeles County, a sheriff’s deputy drove at speeds over 80 miles an hour without using his lights or siren, slamming into the side of an SUV entering the intersection.
The driver and front passenger sustained only minor injuries, but the two back passengers, Sarah Paynter (20) and Robert Delgadillo (31), were ejected from the vehicle upon impact. They were declared dead at the scene.
The California Highway Patrol reported that the primary cause of the collision rested with the deputy officer for driving at an unsafe speed for the conditions. The report went on to name the officer’s actions as grossly negligent and the proximate cause for the deaths of two individuals.
Deputy Jannah was responding to a domestic violence call when he was driving 30 miles per hour over the speed limit. The victim-driver claims that he stopped at the four-way stop intersection and did not see the officer approaching. As he entered the intersection, the officer collided into the driver side of the SUV, causing the SUV to spin out. The two passengers in the back, who were planning to marry on Christmas day less than two weeks before their deaths, were not wearing seat belts.
The Palmdale Sheriff’s station placed the officer on desk duty while he was being investigated. At around the same time, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office reviewed the case to determine whether or not to file charges.
In November 2015, the District Attorney for Los Angeles County declined to initiate criminal proceedings against the officer. The charge sought—misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter—needed to be filed within one year of the crime. Since the statute of limitations had already passed, the only charge that could be brought against the officer would have been gross vehicular manslaughter.
Although the California Highway Patrol investigation concluded that the officer committed gross vehicular manslaughter, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office claimed a charge of gross vehicular manslaughter could not be proven by the prosecution. The officer maintained his employment with the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station, but he is forbidden to drive while on duty.

The parents of Sarah Paynter, the younger of the two victims to die, have filed a civil lawsuit against the County of Los Angeles and the officer involved in the collision, among other parties. They are claiming damages for negligence, wrongful death, and negligent hiring, retention, supervision, and training.
A claim of negligence requires that a person’s conduct lacks reasonable care and is the cause of physical harm by the negligent action. The sheriff deputy had a duty to exercise reasonable care in carrying out his work. By speeding through a four-way intersection without stopping and without using appropriate warning devices, his negligence caused the death of two individuals and the injury of two more.
This is the basis for the wrongful death claim the family has made. Were it not for the deputy’s negligence, the lives of two civilians and their families would not have been disrupted.
The third claim of negligent hiring, retention, supervision, and training has been made against the county which employs the officer involved in the collision. As a duty to the community, proper safety training should have been provided to avoid this incident.
Looking further at the case, the two deceased persons were not wearing seatbelts. The respondents in the lawsuit have cited this as a contributing factor in the deaths to mitigate the officer’s role. Since a seatbelt could have significantly decreased the injuries sustained by both deceased victims (including their deaths), their actions may be considered contributory negligence.
While this may impact the court’s decisions in calculating damages owed to the claimant, it does not negate the care the deputy should have exercised.
This case is on-going. The defendants have submitted a motion to bifurcate the trial, wherein the court can divide the trial into separate liability and damage proceedings. The hearing is set for January 24, 2017.
Dolman Law Group
If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident due to the negligent behavior of another individual, please call us at (727) 222-6922 or email us through our Contact Us page to schedule your free consultation. At Dolman Law Group, we have a team of experienced and knowledgeable attorneys that can review your case to determine if you can seek damages for injuries sustained. We work on a contingency basis, so we don’t receive any pay unless you receive the compensation you deserve.
Dolman Law Group
1663 1st Ave S.
St. Petersburg, FL 33712
(727) 222-6922

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Have You Been in a Bicycle Accident?

Guest post by

Many people choose to ride bikes to get around town for many reasons - to avoid traffic, to save money, to make parking significantly easier, and to help the environment. Others ride bicycles for exercise and recreation. Whatever the reason, biking can have many different benefits. Unfortunately, biking also creates the risk of extremely serious accidents and injuries.

Drivers are expected to share the road with bicyclists and when they do not, they should be held fully responsible for any injuries they cause in collisions.

A Bicycle Accident can Change Your Life

Bicyclists do not have airbags, seat belts, bumpers, or a protective frame around them as motor vehicle passengers do. When a car crashes into a bicyclist, the will feel the full force of the impact directly on their body. Often, bicyclists can get thrown from their bikes, which can result in several different impacts with the vehicle, the ground, or nearby objects. For these reasons, the injuries sustained in a bike accident are often severe.

Some common injuries suffered by bicyclists include:

-Jaw and facial fractures
-Shattered wrists and arms
-Crushed limbs
-Spinal cord injury
-Broken pelvis
-Broken ribs
-Internal injuries

Many bicycle accident victims require emergency trauma care, time spent in the hospital, multiple surgeries, a lengthy course of rehabilitative therapy, and more. People who suffer long-term or permanent impairments may require home health care or assisted living. The costs of treating these devastating injuries can easily reach toward $1 million or more.

While you are receiving treatment and recovering from your injuries, you will likely have to miss a substantial amount of work, which means you also miss out on income. If your injury caused permanent disabilities, you may never be able to return to work again and may have to rely on disability benefit and other alternative forms of income. For these reasons and more, obtaining full compensation for your losses is critical to being able to cover your basic expenses and bills.

How a Bike Accident Lawyer Can Help You

Bicycle accident cases can be complex and it is essential to have an attorney on your side who has experience with this particular type of case. Our bike accident lawyers can help you in the

following ways and more:

-Determine who should be held responsible for your collision
-Identify the negligence2 that caused your accident
-Gather evidence to support claims of negligence
-Obtain an adequate payout from an insurance company whenever possible
-File a legal claim against any negligent parties when needed
-Help with every step of the legal process until you receive the full amount of compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses.

Call for a Free Consultation with Our St. Petersburg Bike Accident Attorneys

The dedicated team of bicycle accident attorneys at Berkowitz & Myer have extensive experience helping bike accident victims following devastating crashes. We know how to provide the assistance you need in this difficult time so that you can remain focused on your physical health and recovery. Please call our office at 727-344-0123 to discuss your case for free today.