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The Challenges of Drugged Driving Personal Injury Claims

A recent major survey found that in 2016, 11.8 million people 16  years of age or older were guilty of drugged driving. The problem with drugged driving – defined as operating a vehicle while impaired by a prescription drug or illicit drug – is that it can lead to car accidents and personal injury claims.

Personal Injury ClaimsIn fact, a report by the Governors Highway Safety Association and the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility found that in 2015, 43 percent of drivers who died in car accidents had positive tests for drugs, versus 37 percent who tested positive for alcohol. Fetterman Law & Associates believes that it’s important you understand the dangers of drugged driving to better protect yourself from an accident that can lead to a personal injury case.

The Dangers of Drugged Driving

Drug-impaired driving is challenging to regulate, because there are hundreds of different drugs that can cause impairment, and many of these drugs are legal, which means that with alcohol, state officials can’t keep those drugs off the streets.

Worse yet, while studies on how alcohol affects drivers have arrived at some common conclusions, studies on drug impairment have not reached a consensus. The reason is that people react differently to different drugs, so it’s hard to predict how drivers who use drugs will react when they are behind the wheel.

For example, some people can smoke marijuana for several hours and drive without any sign of impairment, while others who do the same thing will show obvious signs of impairment.

The other problem is that marijuana is one of the most common drugs people use before they drive. The challenge, however, is that states have no established a standard for what amount of marijuana in a driver’s blood constitutes impairment.

Police officers who pull over a driver on suspicion of being impaired and discover the driver may be impaired by marijuana must perform the standardized sobriety test for alcohol. However, alcohol impairment and drug impairment are not an apples-to-apples comparison, making it difficult for officers to know how much marijuana contributed to a person’s impairment. Some states have adopted what is known as ‘presumed’ impairment using a blood test that measures the amount of THC (the main chemical in cannabis), and comparing it to a chart.

But even that method is not accepted by many courts in the U.S., and while scientists are working on a standardized blood and breath test for marijuana, it is still years away.

Contact a West Palm Beach Divorce Attorney After A Drugged Driving Accident

If a driver impaired by prescription drugs or illicit drugs caused your personal injury claim, and you don’t feel as if you are getting the proper consideration from the other party’s insurance company, it’s important that you hire an experienced law firm to represent you. Experience and prior success are two big indicators that a firm can handle complex cases. Please contact Fetterman & Associates at 561-845-2510 to schedule a case evaluation.

Are Hidden Cameras Admissible In Nursing Home Abuse Claims?

Nursing home abuse claims can involve physical violence, emotional abuse, neglect, and even criminal violations that can land the perpetrator in jail. Unfortunately, a recent report found that 25 percent of all serious cases of nursing home abuse is not reported to the police. This is troubling because state and federal law requires that anyone suspecting possible nursing home abuse cases reported this to the police.

Nursing home abuse

Families who place their loved ones in a nursing home have the right to expect that the facility will keep residents safe and free from harm. To ensure that residents are protected, some families install cameras to monitor what happens when they are not present. The team at Fetterman & Associates thinks it’s important that you understand the legal implications and admissibility of camera footage in nursing home abuse claims.

State Laws On Cameras In Nursing Homes

Cameras and spy cams have become big business in many industries, but the issue is much more dicey when it comes to nursing homes. While many nursing homes have set up video surveillance in common areas where visitors and patients often congregate, regulations are more restrictive on the placement of cameras in resident rooms.

Most nursing homes don’t allow cameras in resident rooms, because of concerns about privacy related to the actions of a roommate or caregivers. However, if a nursing home allows cameras, you must still adhere to the rules that facility has established for how those cameras can be used.

Currently, five states have passed laws allowing private individuals to install cameras in skilled nursing facility resident rooms. Recently, government officials in Utah passed a law that allows the use of cameras in assisted living facilities.

Other states such as California have not passed a law about cameras in nursing home resident rooms, but they do have guidelines for how facilities must use cameras in assisted living facilities.

The important thing to remember is that before you install a camera in a loved one’s room, you must first check the regulations of the nursing home. Because you signed a contract stating you will adhere by those regulations, placing a camera in the room of a family member living at a nursing home may be a violation that could result in expulsion.

Call An Attorney To Learn More About Cameras and Nursing Home Abuse 

Proving nursing home abuse can be challenging, especially if you don’t have any primary evidence such as unexplained bruises, bedsores, or some other type of physical sign that abuse is taking place. The admissibility of hidden cameras is a thorny issue that can be won or lost on technicalities, which is why you need an experienced legal team behind you when you pursue these claims. Please  contact the lawyers of Fetterman & Associates today at 561-845-2510 for a free consultation.

Involved in a Hit-and-Run? You Might Need a Car Accident Lawyer

According to Wikipedia, a hit-and-run accident is defined as “the act of causing a traffic accident and not stopping afterward. It is considered a supplemental crime in most jurisdictions.” In other words, leaving the scene of an accident you caused is against the law. Unfortunately, many drivers are too nervous, angry, or complacent to stop. For this reason, car accident lawyer offices work around the clock to provide justice to those injured in hit-and-run accidents.

If you or a loved one has been injured by a reckless driver, call our experienced team at Fetterman & Associates to file your Florida personal injury lawsuit. Our office is dedicated to fighting for the compensation you deserve.

The History 

Florida personal injury lawsuit“Hit-and-run laws arose from the difficulties that early traffic collision victims faced in identifying perpetrators so that they could be brought to justice,” Wikipedia reads. “Apart from the obvious ability of an automobile to flee the scene quickly…drivers often wore driving goggles, vehicles at the time did not have license plates, and roads were unpaved and thus quite dirty.”

Regardless of the changes in technology and fashion, hit-and-run accidents have continued at an alarming rate.

Why Drivers Leave 

While there’s no concrete way of knowing why a driver fled the scene of an accident, there are two popular reasons: the driver is not properly licensed, or the driver is not properly insured. The driver may also be interested in avoiding law enforcement for other reasons, such as ongoing criminal activity. This means following a driver fleeing the scene is not advisable. Instead, get in touch with a car accident lawyer as soon as possible.

Steps to Follow 

As State Farm outlines, there are several things you should do (if possible) after being injured in a hit-and-run accident.

  • First, get the license plate number of the other vehicle. Even a partial number will help.
  • Next, call the police and report the incident.
  • After speaking with police, you’ll be asked to complete an accident report. Include any potential witnesses in this report and be as thorough as possible.
  • Finally, call your insurance company and report the accident.

On the flip side, there are several things you should not do after being injured in a hit-and-run accident, including:

  • Blocking traffic while waiting for first responders.
  • Remaining in your vehicle if you cannot leave a travel lane.
  • Leaving the scene of the accident to confront the other driver.

Taking these actions could lead to further crashes, injuries, and arrests. Instead, contact a car accident lawyer to file your Florida personal injury lawsuit as soon as possible.

Get in Touch With a Car Accident Lawyer For Representation 

There are few things more stressful than being injured in a hit-and-run accident. If you or a loved one has been harmed due to the negligence of another driver, contact our team of experienced personal injury attorneys at Fetterman & Associates by calling (561)-316-2746. Our mobile office will come to you, ensuring you get the medical care and treatment you need – and the compensation you deserve.

Personal Injury Attorney’s Contacted as Distracted Driving Accidents Increase

Being involved in a Florida car accident can be frustrating, scary, and uncomfortable. But what happens when the cause of the accident was a distracted driver? This question has led many victims to contact a personal injury attorney in an attempt to seek compensation for physical and emotional distress.

Victims of distracted driving in Florida have two parties to hold responsible – the driver and the state government, which has failed to pass strong restrictions on distracted driving. In the early months of 2018, representatives in Florida promised to get tougher on texting. Already, the idea has floundered, paving the way for even more accidents and personal injury lawsuits.

If you or a loved one has been injured due to careless or reckless driving, contact an experienced personal injury attorney team at Fetterman & Associates. Our lawyers are prepared to fight for the compensation you deserve.

Florida Car Accidents: Texting and Driving

Personal Injury AttorneyAccording to the Sun Sentinel, “The [proposed bill] has stalled in the Senate and will not be heard in its final committee. Its chair, state Sen. Rob Bradley, R-Fleming Island, cites worries about police invading drivers’ privacy and minorities being treated unfairly.”

The bill in question would make texting and driving a primary offense, allowing officers to pull offenders over immediately. Under current state law, texting alone is not enough.

To address concerns from Bradley and other representatives, an update to the bill added that police would be required to inform those pulled over for texting and driving that a request to search their phone could be refused without a warrant.

Officers would also be required to mark the ethnicities of drivers cited for texting and driving, allowing statistics about possible racial profiling to be gathered.

Still, in the final days of the legislative session (which ended in mid-March), representatives failed to act. It is unlikely the bill will face consideration again in the near future.

Statistics and Reports

Between 2013 and 2016, the number of accidents in Florida rose by 11 percent. The number of careless driving crashes, however, rose by four times that amount.

According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 600,000 drivers use electronic devices on a daily basis. In 2015, nearly 400,000 people were injured in distracted-driving accidents. Of these people, more than 3,000 were killed.

Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney For Representation 

Being injured in a Florida car accident is difficult enough. Knowing the responsible party hasn’t been held responsible is even worse.

If you or a loved one has been injured by a distracted driver, contact our personal injury attorney team at Fetterman & Associates by calling (561)-316-2746. Our investigative and legal team will work closely with you to ensure the best possible chance of receiving the compensation you deserve.

Why You Should Consider Contacting a Burn Injury Attorney

In 1992, Stella Liebeck – then seventy-nine – bought a cup of coffee at a McDonald’s drive-thru. She spilled the coffee on her lap, suffering severe burns. Afterward, Liebeck sued McDonald’s and was awarded nearly three million dollars in damages with the help of a burn injury attorney.

Since then, hundreds of cases involving companies that literally burned their customers have been brought to the forefront.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of a burn accident, contact our experienced Florida personal injury lawyers at Fetterman & Associates. Our investigative team will dedicate itself to your case, ensuring the fairest possible result.

Ongoing Litigation 

Burn Injury AttorneyValissa Richard was traveling on a Carnival cruise ship in the fall of 2016 when, during the course of her meal in the dining hall, a waiter brought her tea in a teapot that was “designed with a non-locking, non-sealing hinged lid.”

Another woman at the table, Sherrie Dawson, was allegedly using a maraca when the waiter approached the table.

“As [he] approached the table to serve Richard, Dawson hit his hand – the teapot then fell off the saucer, spilling hot water onto Richard’s chest, right shoulder, and right arm,” U.S. District Judge Federico A. Moreno explained in a court order. “Richard suffered severe injuries from the accident, including second degree burns on her right chest, breast, and upper and lower right arm.”

After the incident, Richard contacted a burn injury attorney.

The Argument

Richard claims these injuries left permanent damage. She charged Carnival with negligence in the manner, method, and mode of serving hot tea.

Carnival, in turn, claims Dawson added an unforeseen factor to the table, ultimately causing Richard’s injuries by hitting the waiter with her maraca.

“It is purely speculation,” Carnival argued. “And otherwise impossible for the plaintiff to assert that a different model teapot, or holding the teapot with two hands instead of one, or holding the teapot by its handle, or even serving the hot water at lower temperatures would have not harmed or injured the plaintiff.”

Carnival requested a summary judgment (a judgment without a trial) in its favor, but was denied by Moreno.

“Although the parties concur about many of the events preceding Richard’s injuries,” he wrote. “Their dueling statements of facts illuminate several genuine and material factual disputes.”

Contact a Burn Injury Attorney for Assistance and Representation 

The legal system can be difficult to navigate without assistance. If you would like to file a lawsuit against a company responsible for burn injuries, contact a burn injury attorney at Fetterman & Associates. Our team of Florida personal injury lawyers is prepared to assist, represent, and fight for compensation. Contact our office at (561)-316-2746.

What To Do If Your Lyft Crashes, As Explained By A Personal Injury Lawyer

As humans, we’ve learned to expect the unexpected. Even so, nobody truly anticipates the crash of their Uber or Lyft. What happens in the aftermath? Who should be held responsible? These complex questions can be answered with the assistance of an experienced personal injury lawyer.

If you or a loved one have been involved in an Uber or Lyft accident, contact our legal team at Fetterman & Associates. Our in-house investigative team will devote its time and energy to your case, fighting for a fair outcome that promises the compensation you deserve.

Recent Accidents 

Personal Injury LawyerAn article published in July of 2017 for TIME outlined the process that begins the moment an Uber or Lyft collides with another vehicle – or, in the case of the writer, a person.

“It turns out, if you’re ever in an accident involving Uber or Lyft, you likely won’t sue the ride-sharing company outright, according to multiple lawyers,” the article reads. “Drivers are technically independent contractors, not employees, meaning the company can deny liability for crashes involving their drivers.”

One such case occurred when, in 2014, a six-year-old girl was struck and killed by an Uber driver. The driver was eventually charged with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter, carrying a maximum twelve- month sentence.

Although the family of the slain girl sued Uber, officials emphasized the driver was not a company employee, and was not responding to a fare request at the time of the accident.

The Steps to Follow

Though your legal options vary based on state laws, there are several steps you should take after your Uber or Lyft crashes. First, call first responders. Second, take pictures of the wreck. Next, write down the name of the driver and contact information for any witnesses. Finally, take screenshots of your ride-sharing request and receipt.

If you’ve been injured, contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.

Typically speaking, if your ride-sharing driver is deemed at-fault for the accident, you’ll be covered under a liability policy through James River Insurance. If you plan to file a lawsuit yourself, you’ll sue the at-fault driver.

In order to sue Lyft or Uber directly, you’ll have to prove the company itself did something that contributed to the accident, such as hiring an incompetent or dangerous driver. This can be difficult, especially when the ride-sharing company can hide behind ignorance.

Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer for Assistance 

There are few things more unexpected than being involved in an Uber or Lyft accident. If you or a loved one has been injured in such an accident, contact Fetterman & Associates at (561)-316-2746. We specialize in consumer safety and protection. Our personal injury lawyer team is prepared to fight for the compensation you deserve.

Uber Accidents in Florida – Who’s Responsible?

Personal Injury AttorneysAccording to an article published by Fortune in 2015, written firsthand by a passenger involved in an Uber accident, the process can be stressful. The author shared that Uber and Lyft “have notoriously worked to avoid as much responsibility as possible when it comes to accidents.”

For some passengers injured in accidents, the solution is simple – bring everyone to court and let a judge decide. If you or a loved one have questions about an Uber or Lyft accident, contact a Florida injury lawyer at Fetterman & Associates for assistance.

The Accident

Perhaps the most notorious Uber accident in Florida history occurred over the holiday season in 2015, when a twenty-year-old passenger from southwest Miami-Dade was killed in a dangerous crash.

Pablo Sanchez Jr. called for an Uber to a Miami nightclub just after four o’clock in the morning on December 27. The driver, Jean Ralph Adam, arrived to transport Sanchez and three of his friends home. While making a left-hand turn, the GMC Yukon was struck by a Toyota Corolla.

The Uber vehicle rolled over, landing against a wall and exploding into flames. While Adam and Sanchez’s friends escaped without serious injury, Sanchez was trapped and killed.

After the accident, a spokesman for Uber released a statement saying, “We are deeply saddened by this tragic accident and our thoughts are with all those involved and their families during this very difficult time.” This statement was repeated in an article published on the CBS Miami website describing the accident.

Despite the response from Uber, members of Sanchez’s family demanded to know if Adam was distracted or tired during the drive. A lawsuit was ultimately filed against both Uber and Adam, in addition to vehicle owner ShammaChery and Alexander Chica – the driver of the Toyota Corolla.

Who’s Responsible? 

When an Uber or Lyft accident takes place, blame is often thrown in several different directions. First, the company attempts to learn the exact circumstances surrounding the accident. Was the driver tired or distracted behind the wheel? Was the passenger involved? How could the accident have been avoided?

Once these questions are answered and eyewitness accounts are provided (if possible), the company determines whether to file the claim on the business policy or force the driver to file a personal claim. In the midst of this, passengers often find themselves unsure who to hold responsible for sustained injuries and medical bills.

Contact Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys at Fetterman & Associates

Because there are so many questions and complications surrounding the issue, a team of professionals can help passengers and injured drivers obtain the compensation they deserve. If you or a loved one would like to speak with a Florida injury lawyer about a life-altering Uber accident, contact Fetterman & Associates at (561)-288-8027.

3 Ways To Keep Your Family Safe On a Beach Vacation

Family lawyersThere’s no better feeling than planning and executing the perfect family vacation, especially when that getaway involves the beach. Whether you are swimming, sunbathing, enjoying the waves on jet-skis, or sailing, a beach vacation can be packed with days of fun.

But staying safe is one of the biggest concerns you will have, so here are safety tips for family travel when you are headed to a sandy paradise.

Tips For a Safe Family Beach Vacation 

Some of the ways you can keep your family safe during a beach vacation include:

  • Don’t Drink and Boat – Drinking to excess while you’re operating a boat is dangerous, because you can become so impaired that you don’t heed dangers on the water. But it’s also dangerous, because if you or one of your children falls overboard, your drinking could impair your ability to save yourself or your kids.
  • Don’t Dive Without Knowing the Water’s Depth – Diving off a boat, or even off some rocks or cliffs can be a fun activity. But unless you are accompanied by a guide who knows exactly how deep the water is, avoid diving, because you or your kids could strike the bottom with enough force to knock you out or cause a serious head injury. And even if you know the depth and it’s safe, dive feet-first to give you the best chance at avoiding a head injury.
  • Don’t Swim Without a Lifeguard Present – Many beach resorts are popular because of the opportunity for people to swim and surf. But you should never swim at a beach that doesn’t have a lifeguard. There are many different water conditions at beach resorts, and it’s likely you don’t know these conditions well enough to determine things such as the force of a tide and the size of the waves. And if something happens to you or one of your children during a swim, having a professional lifeguard present can be a lifesaver.

Remember that if you are injured at a beach resort and you believe that the injury was due to negligence, you may have the grounds for a personal injury lawsuit. 

Helping Protect Your Rights When Things Go Wrong 

No family plans for something to go wrong when they are on vacation, but it does happen, and when you find yourself needing a legal representative due to some type of personal injury accident or event, you want to hire the most experienced and successful firm. There are very few ‘sure things’ when it comes to personal injury claims, and one mistake can be the difference between victory and defeat.

So when you find your vacation marred by an event you couldn’t foresee, make sure you contact a firm that has a track record of handling those types of cases. Experience means nothing without success, and our firm has both. Call us today to schedule a free evaluation of your case.

What Is a Demand Letter In Car Accident Injury Claims?

Car Accident Attorney After you’ve been injured in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, you may have the right to file a civil suit against the person responsible.

The personal injury attorney who takes your case will gather all the evidence in your favor, and then will reach out to the representative of the insurance company that provides liability coverage to person who caused the accident.

Typically, the first contact will be in the form of what is known as a ‘demand letter,’ which details exactly what you are looking for in terms of compensation for your injuries.

What Details Are Included In a Demand Letter For Car Accident Injury Claims? 

A demand letter is the first step in trying to get the other side’s insurance company to compensate you without having to go to court.

Demand letters commonly include:

  • Official Police Report of the Accident– This often includes photos and videos that were taken at the accident scene.
  • Description of the Incident
  • Explanation of How Other Person Caused Accident
  • Explanation of Victim’s Injuries
  • List of Medical Expenses– This often includes medical bills
  • Proof of Lost Wages – This usually requires a letter from an employer or contractor that details days missed and pay lost.
  • Other Losses – This is usually known as the ‘pain and suffering’ portion of the letter in which your lawyer details the changes in your daily life caused by the accident. For example, some car accident victims may develop symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which can create anxiety and distress.
  • Settlement Demand – This usually comes at the end, because it is the amount of money that your lawyer is ‘demanding’ for all the losses and expenses you have suffered due to the car accident.

 What Happens After Your Lawyer Sends a Demand Letter? 

Sending a demand letter doesn’t mean that the other person’s insurance company will agree to things that your lawyer has asked for, and in fact, in most claims, this is just the beginning of the process.

The insurance company representative will likely come back with a counteroffer, or dispute some of the details included in the demand letter, and that usually leads to back-and-forth negotiations to avoid a jury trial.

Car Accidents Are Not Always Simple Claims 

Some victims of car accidents believe that their cases will be easy to resolve, but even in claims in which fault is obvious, the other party’s insurance company may not want its client to take responsibility for the accident. That’s why a strong demand letter is just the beginning in formulating a winning strategy for your claim. The team of Fetterman & Associates, P.A. has the experience to help you get everything you deserve after you suffer injuries in a car accident. Please call us today at (561) 561-845-2510 to schedule a free consultation.

Additional reading

3 Things You Should NOT Do After an Auto Accident

Do You Need a Car Accident Attorney?

Comments By Evan Fetterman

Two hundred and fifty years ago, other than the native Americans who lived here for centuries, we were all immigrants.  We sought refuge from tyrannical rulers who tried to determine the destiny of all their subjects.  There were no supermarkets, no cell phones, no more comforts than candlelight in the dark and fire to keep us warm.  By 1776 our brave forefathers declared our independence.  And by 1787 we embarked on the great experiment of democracy with the establishment of our Constitution.  “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”   Yes, a great nation was then born.  And yet, some words were still feared:  “The British are coming” indicated British soldiers.  The people were the government of the United States, and yet, there was an innate fear of all governments.  The Bill of Rights set for the basic rights of the people, including the Second Amendment, the right to bear arms.  “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”  At a time when we provided our own security, at a time when one hunted for food for sustenance, at a time when foreign invaders were a real threat to an infant nation, the powder ball and musket were a real necessity.

Comment by Evan-FettermanFast forward to the present, some two hundred thirty years later.  Life is not only different but more complicated.  Every day, guns are used to kill and maim our fellow citizens.  Every day, there are those among us who seek to totally remove any restriction on the ownership and use of guns and firearms in general.  We no longer speak of powder ball muskets.  We now speak of handguns of all sorts, with laser sights, and automatic repeating triggers, rifles and automatic rifles, and machine guns.

And each time there is another tragedy, each time there are numerous senseless deaths by shooting, these same people call for less weapon restriction arguing that is for protection.  We have heard it so often.  Shooting of Presidents, shootings of children at Sandy Hook, shootings of politicians, mass killings in nightclubs in Orlando, in Las Vegas, and now again close to home in Ft. Lauderdale.  And even with the continued liberalization of our gun control laws, the carnage continues.  (Isn’t liberalization an ironic word used in this context?)

We have just suffered through another senseless tragedy.  Our leaders will soon recite the parody that guns do not kill people, people kill people.  And they will offer their thoughts and prayers to the families who mourn the senseless loss of their loved ones.

I call on all of you to now rise up and face reality.  Tell your leaders that you will no longer accept their meaningless platitudes.  Prayers are wonderful, but they are not a solution to an endemic problem.  We do not need firearms to obtain our food.  We do not need firearms to protect us from any facet of our government.  We do not need firearms to protect us from foreign invaders.  And firearms in ever increasing numbers, with the ever-diminishing restriction on their use, have in no way protected us from the senseless slaughter we suffer on a regular basis.

No one can own or operate a motor vehicle without first obtaining an appropriate license.  Tests must be passed, and a basic proficiency must be shown.  And the operation of motor vehicles is closely regulated by law enforcement on a regular basis.  There are no such restrictions on the use and ownership of firearms.  It is time to demand common sense restrictions.  It is time to demand that we are all entitled to freedom from worry about the next mass execution.  It is time to demand that we are entitled to real action from our so-called leaders.  It is time to tell the politicians of America that we have had enough, and we are not going to take it anymore.  We live in the 21st century, not the 18th century, and we will no longer let a vocal minority rationalize for all of us that what was necessary more than two hundred years ago is necessary today.  Tell them they are wrong.  Guns do kill people, and we are sick and tired of the tragedy and pain.

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