Hiring an Injury Attorney? Know What Credentials and Qualifications to Seek

If you have been injured in a car accident recently, most likely you are having to adjust to some (or a great deal of) lack of mobility, coupled with managing pain. You may be worrying about going back to work, managing medical bills, paying your regular bills, and stressing over exactly what to say to insurance adjusters who may be calling before you even get back home. This can be an extremely challenging time if you are hurting, your car is damaged, and you aren’t sure where to turn. You may be experiencing a great sense of isolation and even hopelessness, especially if the other party’s insurance company is giving you a hard time.

It is in your best interest to hire a skilled attorney from a firm like Heintz & Becker as quickly as possible. Not only can they give you excellent legal advice and help guide you through the rest of the process if there is a case, a car accident attorney will be able to take over all communications with the insurance company; in fact, it is best not to answer any questions from the other side’s insurance company at all if you can help it.

Most of us are not in car accidents very often, thankfully (although statistics show most people will experience at least one in their lifetime) so you may be at a complete loss for what criteria to seek in hiring an injury attorney. Here are some helpful tips to get you started:

  • Ask for referrals. Your friends and family may be a wealth of information in this area.
  • While licensing is a must and education is obviously required, before you get too snobby about what law school an attorney attended, ask for a snapshot of what is most important: their track record, and training and experience.
  • Does a prospective injury attorney have a history of going to court and winning—or do they almost always settle (some will even tell you that they don’t go to court)? If you want an attorney who is going to fight for your rights, a good record in court is critical!
  • Do they represent accident victims and insurance companies? Seek out a company that is not playing both sides. Your attorney should be specialized in protecting the victims.
  • How accessible are they? If you have been injured and are going through a difficult time, the last thing you want to do is hire a legal professional who will be difficult to get through to when you need them. Will they be handling your case, or will you usually be working with their paralegal?
  • Listen to your intuition. Does this attorney seem like they are sincere in helping you? While you certainly cannot get to know someone completely in just one or two office appointments, it is important to have a comfortable rapport with your attorney, open communication, and a realistic attitude about the case.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident due to the negligence of another driver, contact the attorneys at Heintz & Becker. We’ve helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses after accidents. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help!

All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.

 

CRPS: Healing Through Mirror Therapy

Car accidents may yield an unfortunate range of injuries—and in many cases not just one. You may feel lucky to have escaped with your life after a car wreck or motorcycle crash, but the repercussions may still be debilitating. While fatalities are sometimes the tragic result of motor vehicle accidents, a wide range of injuries can occur. You may sustain minor wounds such as bruises and contusions or sprains, or more serious issues like broken bones, spinal issues or even paralysis, concussion or traumatic brain injury, facial fractures, amputation, or harm to the soft tissue.

Even if injuries are minor, however, and even if they have healed, you could be in for more pain later due to nerve issues or even serious damage. Complex regional pain syndrome only affects about 200,000 individuals in the US, and while for some patients it is only mild or temporary, for others it can be extremely painful, debilitating, and chronic. Car accidents may be the cause of CRPS in some cases because of the amount of trauma experienced. An arm or leg may have been sprained or broken but assumed to be resolved after a suitable amount of time for healing.

CRPS may not only be extremely surprising to the patient, but doctors may be hard pressed to diagnose it at first, being required to rule out other diseases and conditions since there is no specific test for CRPS. Treatment can be hit and miss too at first, depending on the severity of the pain. The patient may be prescribed something as simple as over-the-counter medications, or they may require opioids, corticosteroids, or numerous other types of treatment. Therapy is often required too, and there is a list of options with CRPS, beginning with conventional physical therapy to help improve mobility.

Along with more alternative therapies like transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) or biofeedback, mirror therapy may be helpful to patients with CRPS. Often effective because it fools the brain into believing the limb is healthy, mirror therapy involves the patient sitting in front of a mirror but moving the opposite limb. Functionality may be improved in some cases, and pain reduced.

Were you in an accident due to the negligence of others that triggered CRPS? If so, please call Heintz & Becker today to consult with a skilled CRPS lawyer. Our attorneys have helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help, and if you cannot come to us, we will come to you.

All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.

 

Research Your Car Insurance: Do Not Forgo Uninsured Motorist Coverage!

In most states, car insurance is a requirement; and usually even if it isn’t, responsible motorists end up buying it anyway. If you have bought and sold multiple cars previously, purchasing insurance may seem like a routine task that you try to do as quickly as possible, while spending as little as possible. Before checking off all the required items, writing a check, and going on your way though, take some time to get educated on what you really need. Envision what could happen in the event of a serious accident. Are you going to be sufficiently covered, or is there the possibility you could be left holding the bag financially?

In Florida, you must have car insurance to register a vehicle with four wheels, and there are standard coverages you must purchase from your insurer, to include minimum personal injury protection (PIP) of $10,000 and property damage liability (PDL) of $10,000. Additions like uninsured motorist coverage could mean the difference between having damage paid for or not if you are in a car crash with someone who for some reason does not have enough bodily injury liability insurance. This type of coverage, usually quite affordable, can help in the case of a hit and run driver too, eliminating the need for you to pay out for a vehicle damage claim you weren’t responsible for in the first place after an accident

If you have been in a car accident, you may also need help dealing with the other party’s insurance company. While they may seem extremely eager to speak with you and resolve your claim, it is rare that they are considering your best interest in any way. Hire a skilled injury attorney from Heintz & Becker to help you get the compensation you deserve, and when adjusters call, refer them directly to your lawyer. Your priority should be on healing and dealing with insurance companies can be stressful. They may request to speak with you and tape record the conversation, request medical documents from you, and even present you with a low-ball settlement—or worse, a major delay or denial.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident due to the negligence of another driver, contact the attorneys at Heintz & Becker. We’ve helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses after accidents. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help!

All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.

Illegal! Injury Specialists Showing up at the Hospital to take Your Case

If you have been in an accident recently, you may find yourself getting a lot of attention from individuals other than your nurses, doctors, and family who are worried about you. And while legal professionals from a firm like Heintz & Becker who do not want to see you left without fair compensation or being taken advantage of will be concerned about you, if lawyers are showing up at the hospital unsolicited to try and ‘get your business,’ please be aware that their behavior is highly illegal and they are not scrupulous professionals!

Your case should not be solicited at the hospital by anyone else who may be working with an attorney’s office either, or from a paralegal or anyone that you have not called and requested to represent you on your own. The Florida Bar takes these matters extremely seriously, and such behavior is considered a third-degree felony:

“Bar rules prohibit the solicitation – face to face, by phone including via a cold call, or through a third party – of a client who is not a family member or with whom the lawyer does not have a prior professional relationship,” states information from a Florida Bar news article. “Attorneys may not send direct mail solicitations to prospective clients within 30 days of an accident, and then that mailing must meet several conditions including stating where the attorney got the recipient’s name, be marked as an advertisement, and start by advising the recipient to ignore the letter if he or she has already retained another lawyer.”

It is in your interest though to hire a skilled injury attorney if you have been hurt due to the negligence of others. A car crash is a good example of this type of scenario, where you could potentially be in the hospital with insurance adjusters already calling too, hoping to get you in line for a quick and easy settlement with as little effort as possible. If you are owed damages, do not go it alone! An accident like a car crash may leave you with debilitating injuries that make it impossible to work temporarily or even permanently. You may be dealing with a serious concussion, traumatic brain injury, spinal injury, broken bones or sprains, and more. In such a situation, you require honest, reliable legal assistance. If someone approaches you for representation in an atmosphere like a hospital or other immediate stopping point after an accident, they should be reported immediately to the Florida Bar.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident due to the negligence of another driver, contact the attorneys at Heintz & Becker. We’ve helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses after accidents. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help!

All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.

Truck Accidents: Unsecured Loads May Cause Serious Injury or Death

As millions of cars converge on roads and highways each day, it is up to every one of us to give our complete attention to the duty of driving and look out not only for our own safety and that of our passengers, but everyone else around us too. Truck drivers have an even larger task as they are responsible for driving a vehicle that is exponentially heavier than cars (consider that the average car weighs 4,000 pounds and an 18-wheeler may weigh 80,000 pounds). A crash with another truck or a car has the potential to be catastrophic for everyone involved.

Trucking accidents are further intensified when a semi or 18-wheeler (or any size truck) is carrying cargo that may be unsecured, and hazardous. Many of us have had the experience of gravel or small debris falling on our hood while on the road traveling behind a truck, or even having a windshield cracked, but in many cases, items falling out of a truck can cause a serious accident. The trucker may be considered negligent if this happens, along with the loading company, and/or the trucking company, but with the help of an experienced accident attorney from Heintz & Becker, you should receive fair compensation for any damages.

Trucks can wreak havoc on the road otherwise during blowouts, not only causing accidents or pileups as they may begin losing control of their truck, trailer, and load, but also as they leave a trail of large tire debris everywhere. It is up to them to practice extreme diligence in maintaining their trucks and the tires, which sustain a great deal of wear and tear. Unfortunately, like so many other drivers, truckers may also cause accidents due to distracted driving, entertaining themselves over long periods of time by talking on their phones and reading or sending texts, or even surfing the internet or fiddling with other electronics or recreational devices. Truck drivers may also be exhausted after many hours of travel, falling asleep at the wheel or traveling while overly drowsy, or driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

If you or a loved one have been affected by a truck accident injury caused by the negligence of others contact Heintz & Becker today. Our attorneys have helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help, and if you cannot come to us, we will come to you.

All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.

 

Relaxed Marijuana Laws—and Drivers–May Lead to More Accidents

Driving while high on marijuana comes with all the same penalties as driving under the influence of alcohol or another drug. And although it may be difficult to detect, law enforcement officials are becoming much more well-trained in methods for dealing with stoned drivers. It may now be legal for medical marijuana users to ingest cannabis if they suffer from debilitating illnesses, but it is not okay for them to drive while high under any circumstances.

The public perception—and this is growing around the US—is that marijuana in all its many forms is becoming more acceptable to use daily. This may lead more drivers who are users to hop in their cars and drive while high than ever before as they are led to believe, erroneously, that they have more control than they would if they had been imbibing in alcohol. They may have been drinking too, which makes the situation even worse. States like Colorado have established state laws for legal amounts of THC in the blood, but law enforcement officials overall are simply having to become much more adept at recognizing the signs as they pull drivers over, often for other offenses too other than the typical weaving in lanes.

While drivers who are high may not be three sheets to the wind (or appear so, anyway), after smoking marijuana in comparison to drinking, their reflexes may be impaired, and they may be inclined to take dangerous risks that they would not ordinarily take, endangering everyone’s lives on the roads. In recent news, David Harkey of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Highway Loss Data Institute points out that there are definitely risks in operating a vehicle after smoking marijuana, and there are even greater concerns without a simple way to test for THC in the blood.

“It’s certainly early in the game,” Harkey told NBC News. But in a recent interview he also warned, “We’re seeing a trend in the wrong direction.”

Recent studies by the IIHS have demonstrated that states like Colorado, Oregon, and Washington with legalized recreational marijuana are showing an increase of car crashes up to six percent.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident due to the negligence of another driver, contact the attorneys at Heintz & Becker. We’ve helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses after accidents. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help!

All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.

 

Road Construction Areas Can Lead to Serious Auto Accidents & Injuries

As a resident or visitor to Florida—along with many other states—you may be so used to driving through road construction that you barely even notice it anymore. Still, however, following the reduced speed signs and warnings, and slowing to navigate through areas with guard rails and orange cones is vital to your safety, along with that of road construction workers, and other motorists. It may be a major inconvenience and you may not even see the need for it in some cases, but it is happening, so you must follow the rules regardless.

Significant road construction projects are gearing up all over Florida, leaving many motorists both frustrated, bored, tired, and angry; no one wants to sit on the highway endlessly stuck in traffic, and we all have places to be, but these areas are prone to more peril for motorists than others. Traffic is usually heavy in these areas, and even with a multitude of slow-moving traffic jams, accidents are frequently caused due to carelessness of other drivers, along with infrastructure issues such as temporary guarding rails or traffic cones that are built or placed improperly, or with lanes poorly painted.

Causing motorists to come to a sudden stop in road construction areas, forgetting to put up appropriate signage, or forcing drivers into unreasonably narrow lanes can lead to accidents from moderate to severe. Construction equipment may be left jutting out into traffic too, making it difficult to navigate through such areas—made exponentially worse by bad weather. Most importantly though, government workers or those contracted to work on the roads are responsible for your safety and must be vigilant while on the roads, as motorists should be too.

Traffic incidents leading to injuries and even deaths can affect motorists, truck drivers, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Serious concussions, traumatic brain and spinal injuries, sprains and breaks, internal bleeding, and more may be the result of any type of traffic accident, also leading to the inability to work whether for a short time or forever. Unfortunately, Florida is already one of the leading states for car accidents, and especially bicycling and pedestrian incidents—including fatalities.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a truck accident due to the negligence of a truck driver, contact the attorneys at Heintz & Becker. We’ve helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses after accidents. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help!

All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client

Central Nervous System Damage May Cause CRPS

Complex regional pain syndrome is a condition that may plague patients long-term with a variety of unique and uncomfortable symptoms. Many are centered around the skin in terms of more topical discomfort like sensitivity to touch (and this may be even the slightest bit of contact—or even as extreme as exposure to a light breeze), discoloration, swelling, and more. And while that may seem intolerable enough, pain can be chronic and extreme too, affecting the joints and muscles and even making it difficult to move around.

While CRPS can be confounding in many ways, affecting around 200,000 people in the US, experts consider it to be caused by damage to the central nervous system, with Type 1 often being caused by a trauma like a car accident (with gray area in regards to ‘direct nerve damage’) or in some cases even a minor medical procedure like a blood draw, and Type 2 being related to known central nerve damage in cases such as a surgery or other defining event. For some patients, the condition may be self-limiting but for others it could last indefinitely and cause significant issues; in fact, the pain may sometimes be so terrible that those afflicted with CRPS dread trying to walk simply because of the agony they associate with movement.

Patients may experience moderate to severe pain in Type 1 or Type 2, but diagnosis of the rare condition is not always easy at first as other diseases (such as Lyme) must be ruled out first. There is no actual test for CRPS, and it could take months or even years to diagnose, unfortunately. Treatment usually includes pain relievers first, although they could be as simple as over-the-counter medications. If OTC pain relievers do not work or if the CRPS pain is too severe from the outset, doctors may prescribe a variety of other treatments to include opioids, steroids like prednisone, nerve-blockers, and even antidepressants or anticonvulsants. Therapies may be in order too, including conventional physical therapy for muscles that may be painful or even beginning to atrophy, along with more alternative treatments like biofeedback.

Were you in an accident due to the negligence of others that triggered CRPS? If so, please call Heintz & Becker today to consult with a skilled CRPS lawyer. Our attorneys have helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help, and if you cannot come to us, we will come to you.

All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.

After the Car Crash: Be Careful What You Say!

We know so much more today in the US than we did decades ago regarding the importance of safety—and we have so many progressive mechanisms available to prevent injury in the case of a car accident, not to mention so much more information available to the public on how to avoid crashes. Still, traffic incidents continue to rise, and issues like distracted driving continue to be a major problem—taking thousands of lives each year tragically, and needlessly. Motorists who can’t resist the temptation to use their smartphones while traveling are a problem of epic proportions on the roads, but drunk and reckless drivers still cause many crashes too.

If you are in a serious car wreck, you may be owed damages from the negligent party, but it is very important to protect your case from the beginning. This begins with being very careful about what you say. Being educated on what to do before such an incident occurs is extremely helpful, as you may be shaken after a collision with another vehicle. Take time to catch your breath and regain your composure, along with assessing whether you have any injuries. Upon speaking with the other party, as well as police or medical professionals, remember that there is the possibility anything you say could be used against you later; for instance, the other driver may have been negligent, but if you apologize or indicate in any way that you could have done something to prevent the accident (even when it was clearly not your fault!), such statements could have negative repercussions on your case.

Speak only to the police as they are there compiling the accident report, giving them only the basic facts about the case. You will be required to exchange contact and insurance information with the other motorist but keep any communication to a minimum. Your best bet is to contact an experienced injury attorney from a firm like Heintz & Becker as soon as possible. And while it is important to consider your words and actions very carefully directly after an accident that may develop into an injury case, also make sure to speak to any witnesses who may be on the scene and collect their contact information too. That will most likely be the only chance you have to speak with them—and their account of what happened could be extremely important for you later.

If you have been injured in a car accident due to the negligence of another driver, contact the attorneys at Heintz & Becker. We’ve helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses after accidents. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help!

All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.

CRPS is Chronic and Progressive in Many Cases

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) affects a relatively small number of people in the US, with up to around 200,000 cases currently known. If you or a loved one are affected by this condition, then statistics probably mean very little to you or offer much comfort—especially if debilitating pain and suffering are involved.

CRPS can be a confounding condition. It is usually brought on by a trauma like a car accident or a motorcycle crash, and is separated into two different types, with the first usually triggered after a health issue has healed from a car accident, medical procedure, or other injury—and often a mild one. This type of CRPS is often a major—and unwelcome—surprise; in fact, if this is the case for you, there may have just been a sense of relief over getting over a sprain or a break, only to have CRPS rear its ugly head seemingly out of nowhere. The second type of CRPS is usually triggered after direct harm to a nerve occurs. This could happen during a surgery or some other event where it was obvious right away that a nerve had been damaged and CRPS was the result.

While some forms of CRPS can be mild, this condition is known to be chronic and usually affects an arm or leg, or hands and feet. In most cases, symptoms begin with discomfort and burning around the limb that was hurt, and because the immune system is affected along with the central nervous system, there may be redness and swelling, along with extreme sensitivity to touch. Early diagnosis and treatment usually result in a better outcome, but diagnosis can be challenging until all other diseases have been ruled out. Medication may include over-the-counter pain relievers or much stronger regimens, including opioids, nerve blockers, and even anticonvulsants or antidepressants.

CRPS may worsen over time, and muscles may even begin to atrophy. While some patients may experience loss of mobility, others may become reluctant to move around, fearing the pain involved in getting up or walking around. Dystonia is another example of the progression of CRPS, with fingers or toes sometimes becoming fixed in an abnormal or twisted position. This may affect just one area or a group of muscles.

Were you in an accident due to the negligence of others that triggered CRPS? If so, please call Heintz & Becker today to consult with a skilled CRPS lawyer. Our attorneys have helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help, and if you cannot come to us, we will come to you.

All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.