On April 10, 2014 the Florida Supreme Court ruled in Christensen v. Bowen that an individual who has his/her name on the title of a vehicle as co-owner is vicariously liable under the dangerous instrumentality doctrine even though he/she never intended to be the car owner and claimed to giving up control of the car to another co-owner. Simply, if your name is on the title and even though you :1) do not have access to the car where it is parked; 2) you do not have keys to the car; 3) you simply intended the car as a gift; and 4) you did not drive the car, you will be found (liable) for any negligence committed by the driver of said car. In the Christensen case, Mr. Christensen the Defendant and Petitioner (the co-owner named on the title) was in divorce proceedings at the time of the accident. Note to the wise: Make sure if you are getting divorced that you transfer the interest to the person that will be driving the car. If you keep the interest in the car, i.e., your name on the title, you could be held liable for any car accidents that the driver causes.
Great new for all Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram, etc.) – Florida Court protects posts ruling them irrelevant. Throughout the past few years, Courts throughout the United States have ruled that social media posts are fair game and “discoverable” during litigation. On February 5, 2014 the 2nd DCA held in Root v. Balfour Beatty Construction, LLC that although social media posts are discoverable, the party requesting the information still has to prove that the information requested is relevant and not just simply a “fishing expedition.”
Now, it is clear that the Court is stating that a party that is requesting these Social posts has to prove that the information that they are requesting needs to be relevant to the case. Do not mistake this ruling for any blanket protection of social media posts if you are a party in a lawsuit. In personal injury cases, arguing that social media posts are relevant and reasonably calculated to lead the discovery of admissible evidence can be rather easy with good lawyering.
All Social Media users should always beware ( yes we know you have heard this warning before)… be careful what you post. It may pop up later. Although, many people know that it may hurt your prospects of getting a job or getting into the right college, if you are involved in a lawsuit, it can damage your case … A picture is worth a thousand words.
Personal Injury lawsuits frequently have discovery requests for Social Media posts from Facebook and Instagram. The attorneys at Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A., a Miami Personal Injury law firm, specialize in personal injury cases. We pride ourselves in communicating with our clients and putting our clients first. Jeffrey R. Davis has been practicing personal injury law for over 25 years. Olga Porven, a former insurance defense attorney, has the insight into what the insurance companies strategies are in defending personal injury cases, including seeking Social mediation information.
If you or a loved on have been injured as a result of the negligence of another, contact us for a free consultation or call us at 305-577-3777.
When bringing a personal injury claim, it is important to consider that many private aspects of your life will not remain private. Many insurance defense firms, private investigators, and defendants search and comb through social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. During the discovery phase of any litigation, most courts will allow the Defense to go through your Instagram, Facebook, and other social network accounts. Just one photograph or video may be taken out of context and destroy or lower the amount of monies awarded.
Recently, a woman who brought a personal injury case in Gwinnett County, Georgia tweeted about her travels and partying during the course of her case. As a result the jury lowered their damages award. The woman, a victim of a car accident, claimed that the injuries she sustained to her arm as a result of the car accident and she was unable to perform her job duties as a hairstylist. However, the Defense attorney provided tweets and pictures of the Plaintiff having fun in New Orleans with her friends and enjoying spring break on the beach. The Plaintiff asked for $1.1 million for her injuries and received $142,000.
What is the insurance and defense attorney looking for in Social Networks?:
- Pictures of you having fun, showing that you have not been injured, and that you have returned to your normal routine;
- Videos of you performing acts that you now claim you have difficulty with or cannot do;
- Statements regarding the incident or accident;
- Potential friends to interview and depose;
- To catch you in a lie to damage
If you are involved in any type of legal matter, including a personal injury case here are a list of tips when using social networks:
- If you can live without Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. CLOSE DOWN YOUR ACCOUNT. This will be the safest way that you will ensure that you will not damage your case;
- Set your settings as private as possible;
- Ask your friends and family to not tag you in any posts or photographs;
- Do not discuss any aspects of your case on these social networking site;
- Do not “check-in” anywhere.
In fact, many insurers are not trying to challenge liability as must as causation and whether the victim has a permanent injury.
The Miami based attorneys at Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A. are experienced personal injury attorneys who understand the techniques used by defense attorneys and insurances. The use of social media is just one of the ways that the other side will try to lower the damages awarded to a victim of another’s negligence. If you or a loved have been injured because of the negligence of another, contact us for a free consultation to discuss your potential case.
Your choice in a Miami personal injury lawyer can make a big difference in the amount of compensation you receive for your injuries, how your case is managed, and how your case is finally resolved. It is important that you obtain an experienced personal injury attorney who understands Florida law, understands the insurance companies and their strategies, and who has resources to fight for your rights successfully.
When choosing an attorney to represent your interests, you must search for an attorney that is the “right fit” for you and your case. Many personal injury cases takes months to several years to resolve. You will be working with your attorney, so it is important that you trust your lawyer and get along with your lawyer. Just alone in Florida, the Florida Bar reports that there are approximately 93,895 barred attorneys as of January 2013. There are many of attorneys to choose from – Do not sell yourself short.
What Do I Look for In a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Not every attorney is a personal injury lawyer. It is important that you ask the attorney that you are about to hire what type of law they specialize in. I always like to compare it to medicine: You wouldn’t want a cardiologist checking out a problem with your bones. Similarly, you wouldn’t want a family lawyer handling your personal injury case.
These are the factors you should consider when picking your lawyer:
- How many years has the lawyer been practicing?
- Has the attorney ever been disciplined by the Floria Bar?
- Does the attorney have a list of past results?
- Does the attorney have a list of the past type of cases that he or she has handled successfully?
- Will the lawyer take your case to trial?
- What is your lawyer’s policy on communicating and speaking to clients?
The attorneys at Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A., a Miami Personal Injury law firm, specialize in personal injury cases such as workplace violence, wrongful death, car accidents, slip and falls, and negligent security. We pride ourselves in communicating with our clients and putting our clients first. Jeffrey R. Davis has been practicing personal injury law for over 25 years. Olga Porven, a former insurance defense attorney, has the insight into what the insurance companies strategies are in defending personal injury cases.
If you or a loved on have been injured as a result of the negligence of another, contact us for a free consultation or call us at 305-704-7415.
Potential clients commonly ask the attorneys of Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A., Jeffrey Davis and Olga Porven, during their free consulation, “What is my case worth?” Many clients create their own case value expectations merely on a result obtained by their friend or family member with a case that they consider similar to theirs. Unfortunately, there is no secrete formula which allows any lawyer to determine the value of your case. There are too many factors to entertain when attempting to place a value on a case for personal injury, especially after the initial consultation. There are many questions that must be answered during the course of the case, questions that usually do not have clear answers.
For example a personal injury lawyer will need to determine:
- the medical attention sought and compliance with medical attention;
- the severity of the injuries;
- the permanency of the injuries;
- the future medical treatment in the future;
- the future ability to work;
- how much were the medical bills;
- did this affect any members of your family;
When discussing your personal injury matter, wrongful death case, or any other case with an attorney, you should be cautious of any lawyer who promises you a certain value for your case. The value of your case has to be evaluated after looking at medical records and having a face to face meeting. Many times it is several months after the accident and treatment that a lawyer may be able to begin evaluating the value of a case. Beware many times insurance companies will approach you early in the case with settlement offers. Before accepting a settlement offer and signing a release, you should consult with a lawyer in order to determine whether the settlement is a fair offer for your injuries. Insurance companies have been known to send field representatives to accident scenes in order to release any potential claims against their insureds.
Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A. evaluates every case individually. Because each case has different injuries, different damages, different circumstances, and different people, each case is given the attention that it deserves. If you would like to meet with an a personal injury attorney and receive a free consultation regarding your Florida personal injury case, contact us at Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A., North Miami based attorneys, Jeff Davis and Olga Porven will work hard to try and obtain a fair value for your case.
Jeff Davis Law P.A.
Personal injury law is our main practice. Personal injury cases arise when the tortious action or inaction of a person or corporate entity causes harm to another individual. “Tortious” acts may be based on negligence, recklessness, intentional acts, or even strict liability in certain cases (such as abnormally dangerous activities and defective products).
Accordingly, the firm handles a wide range of cases involving accidents, medical malpractice, insurance disputes, products liability, and premises defects. For specific areas please browse our complete list of practice areas.
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