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Fiol Law Group Blog

Can Punitive Damages Apply in Vehicle Accidents?

Fiol Law Group|Posted in Car Accidents on January 17, 2020

A punitive damage award is something you could receive in addition to compensatory damages for your personal injuries or a loved one’s death after a vehicle accident. Punitive damages are a type of compensation you may win during an accident claim if your case goes to court. A judge or jury will look at the defendant’s behavior and the extent of your losses to determine whether punitive damages are appropriate. If so, you may receive an additional monetary award. Understanding Punitive Damages Punitive damages mainly serve the purpose of punishing the defendant, rather than compensating the victim. As a crash victim, you may have already received a fair award to cover your medical costs, property damage repairs, lost wages, legal expenses and other losses before receiving a punitive damage award. Punitive damages can maximize compensation for the victim while penalizing the defendant for particularly heinous or egregious acts of wrongdoing…. read more

Can Prescription Drugs Increase Chances of an Accident?

Fiol Law Group|Posted in Car Accidents on January 15, 2020

Most drivers are aware of the laws against driving under the influence (DUI) of illegal drugs, but fail to realize the equal risks of driving under the influence of certain prescription drugs. A drug’s legality as a prescription medication does not exempt it from Florida’s DUI laws if it affects the driver enough to interfere with his or her driving ability. A driver that causes an accident while under the intoxicating influence of prescription medication could be liable for a victim’s damages. Our Tampa car accident attorneys share information about accidents with a driver under the influence of prescription meds. How Could Prescription Meds Cause Accidents? Certain prescription medications have side effects that no driver could contend with while remaining in safe control of a motor vehicle. These medications often come with warnings not to drive or operate heavy machinery while under the influence of the drug, but many patients… read more

What Common Mistakes Qualify as Medical Malpractice?

Fiol Law Group|Posted in Medical Malpractice on January 15, 2020

Trusting your health in the hands of a physician or surgeon is daunting enough without the threat of medical malpractice looming over you. Unfortunately, malpractice is a reality all patients should be aware of before seeking medical care. Medical malpractice causes about 10% of all deaths in the U.S, making it statistically the third leading cause of death in the country. Knowing what common mistakes to look out for could help you stay in better control of your health care. It could also help you realize when you have been the victim of medical malpractice. What is the Meaning of Medical Malpractice? In Florida, the legal definition of medical malpractice (Florida Statute 766.102) is the injury or death of a person that results from the negligence of a health care provider. This can mean a doctor, surgeon, any person with a medical license, a hospital, surgical center or many other… read more

What Can You Legally Do If You See a Drunk Driver?

Fiol Law Group|Posted in Car Accidents on December 23, 2019

Drunk driving is a rampant problem in Florida that takes many lives annually. In 2018, 814 Floridians died in drunk driving accidents. As a safe and prudent driver, it may be your responsibility to report a potential drunk driver if you encounter one on the road or highway. Taking the correct steps to safely get a drunk driver off the road could save a life. It is important, however, to act according to what is safe and legal for you to do in these situations. Memorize the Vehicle Description and Plate Numbers While you are still close enough to the drunk driver to do so, quickly memorize or have a passenger in the vehicle write down a description of the driver’s vehicle and his or her license plate numbers. This is the information you will need to give the police for them to start their search for the drunk driver…. read more

3 Common Holiday Decorating Injuries

Fiol Law Group|Posted in Safety on December 19, 2019

Decking the halls should not land you in the hospital…yet that is where thousands of people end up each year after suffering serious decorating-related injuries. Broken bones, severe burns, traumatic brain injuries and other significant injuries could all happen while decorating your home for the holidays. Decorate with personal safety in mind this year to avoid a visit to the emergency room. Light Decorating Injuries Putting up the lights is a dangerous job that is best left to the professionals. Save yourself the hassle of getting up on the roof and possibly suffering a serious injury by hiring a professional to string up your lights using special safety equipment, such as a personal fall protection device. Falls from roofs and ladders while trying to decorate with lights lead to many personal injuries and hospital visits each holiday season. If you decide to hang your own lights, use the right ladder…. read more

What to Do if I’ve Been Hit By a Rideshare Car

Fiol Law Group|Posted in Car Accidents on November 27, 2019

Ridesharing might have reduced accidents in terms of drunk driving, but that does not mean the rideshare industry has been immune to serious accidents, injuries and deaths. Rideshare drivers can make mistakes such as distracted or drowsy driving that lead to preventable traffic accidents, just like other drivers. If an Uber or Lyft driver recently struck you as a driver, bicyclist or pedestrian, you have rights. The rideshare company may be financially responsible for your damages. Are These Cases Different From Accidents With Regular Cars? Accidents involving rideshare drivers have unique elements compared to crashes with typical passenger vehicles. Rather than only having the individual driver to hold responsible for your damages, you may also be able to bring a claim against the rideshare company. Both Uber and Lyft maintain $1 million in automobile insurance for victims’ damages in rideshare accidents. These insurance policies will pay for losses for passengers… read more

What Do I Do If I Was Hit in a Rental Car?

Fiol Law Group|Posted in Car Accidents on November 26, 2019

Renting a vehicle can come with added stress in the event of a car accident. Not only might you have suffered serious personal injuries, but you may also need to contend with expensive damage to the vehicle you rented. Insurance claims can be more complicated for crashes involving rental vehicles compared to a car you own. If someone hit you while you were driving a rental car in Florida, try to remain calm and take the correct steps toward obtaining financial recovery. Steps to Take After a Rental Car Crash The first thing to do if you get into a car accident in a rental car is to check yourself and others for injuries. Assess your body from head to toe for signs of something wrong, such as pain, tenderness or tingling. Your adrenaline could be masking symptoms of an injury. Do not tell a police officer or insurance company… read more

What If the Driver Was Out of Control in an Accident?

Fiol Law Group|Posted in Car Accidents on November 25, 2019

It is a driver’s duty to safely remain in control of his or her vehicle at all times. This requires keeping both hands on the wheel and both eyes on the road. It also means driving safely and prudently for roadway conditions – not recklessly or in a way that could foreseeably lead to loss of vehicle control. If a driver causes an accident by losing control of his or her vehicle, the driver could be liable for victims’ damages. If loss of vehicle control occurred due to a defective car part or roadway hazard, however, the crash could come down to someone else’s fault. What If a Driver Lost Control of a Car? Is He or She Still at Fault? Loss of vehicle control may not be a defense to a car accident claim if another reasonable and prudent driver would likely have been able to maintain control of… read more

5 Halloween Nighttime Safety Tips

Fiol Law Group|Posted in Safety on October 17, 2019

It is that time of year again – the leaves are changing, and kids are eagerly planning their Halloween costumes. While decorating your house and buying candy for trick-or-treaters, however, do not neglect one of the most important tasks this time of year: preparing your family for a safe Halloween. Unfortunately, the scares some families get on Halloween are real, such as a child darting into traffic or a serious trip-and-fall accident. A few simple nighttime safety tips could keep you out of the hospital this Halloween. Light the Night Halloween may be all about dark, shadowy corners and night frights, but that does not mean you should expose yourself to fall hazards. If you take the kids trick-or-treating, bring a flashlight or equip the children with glowsticks for better nighttime visibility. Light the sidewalks and roads where you are walking to avoid obstacles you might trip over. You could… read more

Is Florida Still a No-Fault State? (2019)

Fiol Law Group|Posted in Car Accidents,Safety on October 11, 2019

After a vehicle collision, it is your duty as a driver to know how the insurance laws operate in your state so you can file a claim. Insurance laws will determine how to go about requesting compensation for your damages, such as medical bills and property damage repairs. Most states abide by fault-based laws, which hold the at-fault party accountable for his or her actions by making that driver’s insurance company pay for victims’ damages. In 12 states, however, no-fault insurance laws apply to car accidents. No-fault insurance requires every driver to file claims with their insurers, regardless of fault. As of 2019, Florida remains a no-fault state. Our Tampa injury attorneys help explain the meaning of no-fault insurance and what happens during a car wreck. How Do Florida’s Insurance Laws Work? Despite most states adopting fault-based insurance laws, Florida remains a no-fault car insurance state. Florida’s insurance laws hold… read more