During this difficult time, Boohoff Law will remain committed to the people of Florida & Washington. We are still available 7 days a week to injured victims who need our help, and we offer FREE PHONE CONSULTATIONS and Electronic Sign-Ups.

3rd Annual Turkey Giveaway

On November 20, 2020, Boohoff Law hosted the 3rd Annual Turkey Giveaway at the North Port office. The Boohoff Law team passed out 300 FREE turkeys! Every year we look forward to this special day in our firm, and the overflow of gratitude was absolutely heartwarming! We are so thankful to have had an opportunity to give back to a community that has placed so much trust in us throughout the years! It was a wonderful day! We are so proud to be a part of the North Port community!

The Most Common Bicycle Accidents (And How to Avoid Them)

Bicycle accidents can occur in the blink of an eye, especially if you bike inattentively. When you bike, you must pay close attention to the road around you and not rely on other drivers to take care of you on the road, particularly since many drivers completely fail to notice a bicycle’s smaller profile. Are you aware of the most common types of bicycle accidents and, just as importantly, how to avoid them on the road?

1. Left Hook Accidents

In a left hook accident, a vehicle makes a left turn without yielding to a bicycle crossing alongside it. Often, drivers completely fail to notice a bicycle’s smaller size. Drivers’ brains tend to focus on the presence of larger passenger vehicles around them. A bicycle’s smaller size does not fit that profile, which can increase the risk of a left hook accident. Bike riders often also ride in spaces that cars do not usually occupy. A driver may stop to check for vehicles in places it expects those vehicles to drive, but fail to think through the possible presence of another vehicle.

How to Avoid a Left Hook Accident

While you cannot control the behavior of drivers on the road, you can control your own actions as a bicyclist. If you need to cross an intersection, make sure you pay close attention to the other vehicles around you. Avoid crossing an intersection without making sure a turning vehicle notices you. If necessary, wait for the vehicle to complete its turn before proceeding through the intersection.

2. Open Door Accidents

Some bike riders choose to ride on the sidewalk or to skirt close to the edge of traffic, especially if they want to avoid an accident. Unfortunately, as the bike rider, you may not notice that a driver or passenger in a vehicle plans to open their door until it opens into you.

In a vehicle, a door-opening accident usually causes relatively little injury, at least to the people in the other vehicle. A bicycle rider, on the other hand, may suffer serious injury.

How to Avoid Open Door Accidents

Pay attention to the vehicles around you. If you notice passengers remaining in a vehicle, consider giving it a wide berth. You should also carefully consider where you ride your bike to minimize the risk of serious injury.

3. Getting Clipped by a Driver

Some bicycle riders prefer riding on the road. You may need to use the road to get to your destination: for example, you bike to work each day, and the road offers the only way to get there. Others may prefer riding on the road to riding in parks or other safe locations. Traveling close to traffic, even with a bike lane, can lead to getting clipped by a driver. At high rates of speed, even a minor accident can cause serious injury. The closer you ride to traffic, the greater your likelihood of getting clipped by a driver as he speeds around you.

How to Avoid Getting Clipped by a Driver

The closer you ride to the road, the greater your likelihood of getting clipped by another driver. Where possible, use bike lanes. Try to stay on the inside of the lane, away from other traffic, whenever possible. If you must share the road with motor vehicles, pay attention to the flow of traffic around you. Like a slow-moving motor vehicle, you should plan to get off the road if you notice cars backing up behind you. You may also want to consider using bike trails or alternative routes.

4. Ignoring the Rules of the Road

The rules of the road exist to help prevent accidents. Stop signs, red lights, and speed limits help control the flow of traffic and increase the odds that everyone will reach their destination safely. Drivers who ignore the rules of the road substantially raise their accident risk.

So do bicyclists who do not follow the rules of the road.

How to Avoid an Accident Due to Ignoring the Rules of the Road

You cannot prevent the actions of another driver: one that gets frustrated with your presence and tries to speed by you, for example. You can, however, control your adherence to the rules of the road. As a cyclist, you must follow the same rules as motor vehicles when it comes to red lights and stop signs, and you must adhere to the posted speed limit, even if you can travel faster than that limit.

If you notice another driver ignoring the rules of the road, get out of the way. Wearing a helmet and other vital protective gear may decrease your risk of severe injury in a bicycle accident, but it does not eliminate it. Your bicycle offers relatively little protection from a motor vehicle, so take precautions. If you have to stop or take another route, it may interfere with your time or make you late, but it may also help prevent you from suffering a serious accident.

5. Following Too Closely

When you share the road with motor vehicles, some cars will drive very close to you. Their drivers may want to get you off the road or try to get you out of the way. Unfortunately, tailgating leaves both you and the driver with fewer options when it comes to avoiding an accident.

How to Avoid a Tailgating Accident on a Bicycle

If you notice a driver getting too close to you, avoid the urge to simply pour on more speed. A motor vehicle can always travel faster than you can, even at your best rate of speed. Instead, get out of the way. Move off of the road and allow the car to go around you.

Bicycle accidents can happen to even the safest cyclists, especially when you share the road with motor vehicles. If you suffer serious injuries in a cycling accident, contact an experienced bike accident attorney as soon after your accident as possible.

How Much Money Can a Passenger in a Car Accident Get?

If you are in a car accident, it is natural to wonder about damage compensation for your injuries or other harm done to you after the pain and trauma wear off.

Damage compensation is paid by parties who bear responsibility for harm to victims generally, and car accidents are no exception. If someone causes a car accident through negligent actions, they can bear responsibility for financial compensation to the victims. Negligence is a violation of the duty of care, such as driving recklessly or violating traffic laws.

Seeking Damage Compensation

In a fault state, you could approach either the at-fault party’s insurance company in a claim or bring a car accident lawsuit in court to obtain compensation for your damages.

To understand how much money a passenger could receive, it is important to know the structure for damage compensation overall.

Car accident victims could seek damage compensation for:

  • Medical bills, both current and expected in the future, for doctor’s care, emergency care, prescription medication, diagnostic tests, assistive devices, physical therapy, and more.
  • Wages lost from work if the accident, treatment, or recovery necessitated time off of work.
  • The lifetime value of earnings if the injuries sustained are disabling, meaning you are unlikely to work again.
  • Personal property damage for personal property lost or damaged in the accident, such as clothing or possessions.
  • Pain and suffering for physical, emotional, and mental pain and suffering.

Compensation Depends on the Amount of Harm

The amount of money (damage compensation) a passenger in a car accident could get greatly depends on the amount of harm done to the victim. There is no menu of costs automatically associated with car accident injury as a passenger. Among other potential factors, it can depend on the value of the categories above.

The fact that you are a passenger does not change that. Damage compensation for passengers and drivers is determined the same way. In both cases, a negligent party (not themselves) must have caused the accident, and their injuries need to stem from the accident, and not some other cause.

A person who received a catastrophic injury, such as partial or full paralysis due to a spinal cord injury (SCI) will generally receive more money in damage compensation than a person with a sprained ankle, for example.

Why? Because the former’s medical bills, income from losing work, potential lifetime earnings, and pain and suffering are all likely much higher than the latter. Comparatively, a sprained ankle is a minor inconvenience, no matter how painful it feels in the beginning—and most resolve quickly. But paralysis can mean that lifelong medical care is required and, depending on the victim’s job, they may never again have the capacity to work.

Economic Losses

In all damage claims, the economic losses such as medical costs, wages lost from work, and personal property damage are calculated by adding up the amount the victim lost. Because the victim is likely receiving bills, medical costs are considered a loss.

In the case of medical bills, all relevant bills are simply added together.

If your doctor expects you to need medical care related to the accident in the future, expert testimony is often used both to ascertain that the care is standard practice and how much it is forecast to cost. Lawyers often help victims obtain expert testimony to help support the claim amounts.

Generally, in the case of wages lost from work, the amount of hours you lost is multiplied by your current salary. Here, too, expert testimony is often sought if the victim needs time off from work in the future, or if the victim deserves a lifetime value of earnings, as a result of their injury.

If you sustained property damage, the claim can include the replacement value of the property.

Non-Economic Losses

Pain and suffering damages receive slightly different handling. For one thing, no one can place a price tag on pain and suffering in the same way they can economic losses. For another, no one can firmly say just how much pain and suffering any given injury causes. Non-economic losses are subjective and hard to calculate. Generally, the worse your injuries, the more non-economic compensation you can obtain.

If you want more information on damage compensation amounts, contact a car accident lawyer today.

Car Accident Checklist – What You Need to do Following a Car Crash

Motor vehicle accidents are not only violent and dangerous, but they often result in catastrophic injuries. Generally, victims of a car accident find themselves in a state of shock, not knowing what just happened, the extent of their injuries, or what they are supposed to do next.

Yet, regardless of how chaotic the scene of the crash is, you need to stay as safe as possible, and, if possible, it can help to take steps to protect your legal and financial rights. Let’s review them.

Steps to Take at the Accident Scene

Many crash victims have no idea what they need to do following a car crash. However, the actions they take following an accident are crucial for their health and safety and necessary to protect their legal rights.

If you find yourself having just gotten into a car accident:

  • Call 911: You need to call the police immediately after your accident. Officers can provide you with the necessary medical attention you need, and can also investigate the accident and write down their findings in their police report. This report can provide you with essential and critical evidence if you decide to pursue a legal claim for damages.

  • Collect evidence from the scene: If it is safe for you to do so, collect as much evidence from the accident scene as you can. Include pictures or videos of the vehicles involved, any visible injuries, skid marks on the road, weather conditions, traffic signs near the accident, and any other evidence that can help you show what happened.

  • Get driver information: Get the name, contact information, insurance information, and driver’s license number from every driver or individual involved in the accident.

  • Check for witnesses: If any witnesses were present and saw the accident, get their name, and contact information. Their statements and pictures can provide you with critical evidence that can help you prove liability and damages.

Get Examined By a Doctor, Even if Your Injuries Are Minor

Following a car accident, you may need immediate medical emergency attention. However, even if you believe your injuries are minor and decline emergency care, you should still get examined by a medical professional as soon as possible.

A doctor can check you over and verify that you do not have any hidden injuries, such as brain trauma or internal bleeding. They can also write down their findings in medical records that may come in handy in the future if you take legal action seeking compensation for your injuries, and your lawyer needs to prove the connection between those injuries and the car accident.

Be Careful What You Say to the Insurance Company

After a motor vehicle collision, an insurance company representing the at-fault party may call you. Be careful of what you say. Insurance companies are businesses and they want to make a profit. To accomplish this goal, they may try to get you to admit fault for the accident or to say something that can help them deny your claim or offer you less than you deserve to receive. That is why, following an accident, you need to tread lightly when talking to the insurance company.

It is in your best interest to only provide them with basic information about the crash and let them know that all further communications will be through your lawyer. Once retained, your attorney can handle these talks with the insurance company and ensure that you do not say anything that may hurt your claim.

Check How Much Time You Have to File Your Claim

Following an accident, verify how much time you have to file your claim. For example, in Florida, the statute of limitations for filing a motor vehicle accident claim is four years from the accident date, while in Washington, this statute of limitations is three years. However, these periods can expand or contract depending on the specific facts of the case. Speak with a car accident attorney as quickly as possible to determine precisely how much time you have to file your claim.

Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney

Following a car accident, seek legal help you can count on. Dealing with your injuries following a crash is already difficult. You should not have to tackle complicated and confusing legal proceedings and insurance claims as well. With the help of an experienced car accident attorney, you do not have to go through this tedious and complex process on your own.

An experienced car accident injury lawyer can:

  • Listen to you and answer questions: Following an accident, you have many worries and concerns. An attorney can answer any questions you have while also going over your legal options and representing you in any legal action you choose to take.

  • Investigate the accident: To be successful in a motor vehicle accident claim, you need to present reliable and relevant evidence to establish fault and damages. An attorney can start gathering critical evidence as quickly as possible, including reports, documents, and video footage of the accident. An attorney can also speak with witnesses who can help prove what happened and who was at fault.

  • Deal with the insurance companies and defense attorneys: Talking to the insurance company or defense attorneys is stressful. Let an experienced car accident injury lawyer handle all of these discussions and negotiations for you.

  • Head to trial: If the other side is not willing to make a fair and reasonable settlement offer, an attorney can represent you in court and present your case to a judge and jury.

If you were in a motor vehicle accident, do not wait to take steps to protect your legal and financial rights. Contact a knowledgeable and skilled car accident attorney today for a free case consultation.

How to Get What you Deserve in a Semi-Truck Accident Settlement

The trucking industry provides a vital service to us as a nation, not only for our national economy, but for us personally. For instance, we rely on our at-home delivery services now more than ever. Yet, even though these trucks play a crucial role in keeping packages and commerce moving, they unfortunately also result in some of the most catastrophic accidents on the road.

If you were in one of these deadly trucking accidents, you could be entitled to compensation for the injuries you endured and justice for the harm you experienced. This blog post will help detail what you need to know about these semi-truck accident settlements and how an experienced truck accident attorney can fight for an amount you deserve.

Common Causes of Semi-Truck Accidents

Semi-truck accidents can result from numerous factors.

However, the vast majority of them result from human-error and include:

Understanding what caused the semi-truck accident is a crucial part of going after a maximum settlement amount. That is why speaking with an experienced truck accident attorney following your crash is imperative. A lawyer can promptly get to work figuring out what happened and who was at fault for your accident.

Going After the Wrongful Parties

Unlike passenger motor vehicle crashes, which usually involve two to three parties, trucking accidents can include many wrongful parties. As a result, negotiating a settlement offer following a trucking accident is often much more complicated.

Some of these wrongful parties can include:

  • The at-fault truck driver
  • The truck driver’s employer
  • The owner of the truck
  • The cargo company
  • The cargo loaders
  • The trucks manufacturer and maintenance team

Each trucking accident is unique. Consequently, each trucking collision needs an independent and thorough investigation to determine who the wrongful individuals are. However, an experienced truck accident lawyer can get to work promptly, identifying all the potentially liable parties for the crash and giving you a better chance of obtaining maximum compensation.

Fighting for a Settlement Amount You Deserve

Following a trucking accident, you may receive a settlement offer. However, before you accept this amount, you need to understand certain aspects of a trucking settlement offer.

A settlement is a contract where an injured individual accepts payment of money to release an entity or individual from legal liability for causing them harm. However, the key to these settlement amounts is ensuring that you, as the victim, get a fair offer.

An experienced truck accident attorney knows how important it is to figure out what happened in the crash, and identify all the responsible parties. They also know that to get a maximum settlement amount, they first need to determine and obtain evidence indicating how much money you should get as a result of the accident. Once they can figure out this amount, they can fight for the damages you deserve.

The amount of settlement money your lawyer may go after depends on certain factors, including:

  • The extent of your injuries and how significant they are (for example, if they involved spinal damage or traumatic brain injuries).
  • The cost of treating these injuries now and in the future.
  • The types of treatments that are involved and will be involved in the future.
  • The amount of income you have lost as a result of the injuries and will continue to lose.
  • How many expenses you incurred because of the injuries or damages following the semi-truck accident.
  • The amount of pain you suffered.
  • Whether the injuries diminish the quality of your life.
  • Whether the injuries are permanent.
  • Whether the injuries included disfigurement, loss of a limb, or significant scarring.
  • Strength of your witness testimony.
  • Whether you saw a medical doctor following your accident, and followed their treatment plan.

Unfortunately, no lawyer can guarantee a specific amount of compensation following an accident. However, an experienced truck accident attorney can perform a thorough analysis, gather critical documents and evidence, and figure out the maximum amount of compensation you need to pursue.

Steps to Take to Help Get the Highest Settlement Possible

Many factors influence the amount of your semi-truck accident settlement.

Even though you cannot control every one of these elements, you can still take steps to put yourself in the best position to collect the highest settlement possible.

  • See a doctor: Even if you believe your injuries are minor, you still need to get examined by a doctor. Not only can these medical professionals discover deadly injuries that take time to develop, but seeing a doctor and listening to their advice can put you in the best position to obtain the highest settlement offer. These doctors will create a medical report that could link your injuries to the semi-truck accident and explain the extent of your harm.
  • Gather evidence and witness information: If possible, try to collect as much evidence of the accident scene as you can. This evidence can include pictures or videos of your visible injuries, damage to your car, skid marks on the road, and any other evidence that can help show what happened. Additionally, if people saw what happened, get their names and contact information. Their statements can help prove liability and damages.
  • Do not agree to a settlement offer before speaking with an attorney: Many times, the insurance company representing the at-fault party may reach out to you and offer you a settlement amount. However, these first offers may barely cover your current expenses, let alone any future medical treatments and bills you will need help with. That is why it is in your best interest to let these insurance companies know that all communications will be through your attorney. This can help ensure that the insurance company does not try to pull one over on you, hoping that you jump at a chance to get easy money before realizing how much your case is worth.
  • Contact an experienced truck accident attorney: Settlement negotiations are tedious, extremely detail-oriented, and may involve deceptive insurance companies that will try to do anything to deny your claim or provide you with as little money as possible. Do not fall for their tactics. Instead, let a knowledgeable truck accident attorney handle these complicated settlement negotiations and fight for a fair settlement amount.

If you were in a semi-truck accident, do not wait any longer. Contact an experienced truck accident attorney today and let them go after the settlement amount you deserve.