orlando-law-firm

We’ve moved to Orlando!

If you are looking for a leading personal injury and family law firm, look no further. Jerrod Paul got his law degree from the University of Miami, where he practiced immediately after graduating. Jerrod cut his teeth, working in South Florida’s competitive legal market. As opportunities came up, Jerrod moved his operation to Orlando. He is committed to establishing The Law Offices of Jerrod Paul as a leading personal injury and family law firm serving Central Florida and beyond. With a commitment to service and justice, Jerrod takes his personal approach to the ‘City Beautiful.’ You can find him on South Orange Avenue in Downtown Orlando.

Read more “We’ve moved to Orlando!”

right-to-try

The Right to Try- Florida’s New Law that you Should Know

Florida’s New “Right to Try Act” has Major Implications in your Medical Care.

Starting July 1st, there are 130 new laws on the books in Florida. Some of the laws to make headlines include, the state will no longer collect sales tax on gun club memberships, people with 64-ounce beer containers known as “growlers” can get them filled at breweries, and governments in Florida will have to buy American-made U.S. flags. (Can you believe that the making of American flags is regularly outsourced?)

One of the new laws that has not enjoyed as much press is Florida’s new “Right to Try Act.” This new law has important ramifications for your health care options. Currently, there are many drugs which are in some stage of FDA testing, but not yet released to the general public. Prior to July 1st, Floridians could not receive experimental treatments. Since the passage of the “Right to Try Act,” sick Floridians can now opt in to receive experimental treatments that have passed phase 1 of trials. These drugs are not fully FDA approved.

Since these drugs and treatments are not FDA approved yet, the law naturally provide liability protection to doctors and drug manufactures.

As always, you should consult with your physician concerning any medical treatment.

Concerning medical treatment, make sure you are getting the treatment you deserve. In America, medical malpractice deaths are now the third leading cause of death in the United States. While our medical industry is filled with talented professionals who are, for the most part, good at their jobs, that doesn’t mean mistakes don’t happen. Approximately a quarter million people die from medical error each year as reported by the Washington Post.

If you are in need of medical care, make sure you know your options—especially concerning Florida’s new law. Should you believe you have been the victim of medical malpractice or inadequate care, please contact our offices for a free consultation.

sad woman bad lawyer

An Attorney Horror Story

A good lawyer can go a long way. On the other side of the coin, a bad lawyer can really hurt. Although we’d like to think  our legal profession is full of hardworking, honest, upstanding people; the truth is (like any field) we have our high performers and our low performers.

When picking an attorney, be sure to do your homework. Picking the wrong attorney can cost you thousands, sometimes millions of dollars.

Although her name has been changed to protect those involved, the following recounts a real story that happened in New Jersey a little over 15 years ago. We had Dawn recount her horror story.

“My son was in a bad car accident about 15 years ago. In his normal walk to work, he had to cross a busy highway in Central Jersey. While he had completed this walk hundreds of times, that day there was an obstacle. The local prison decided to have its inmates picking up trash in the wide median.

 As the see of orange jumpsuits expanded towards the cross walk where pedestrians frequent, my son attempted to avoid trouble by crossing further down the street. Having to balance his apprehension about crossing a busy highway with his need for safety, my son stepped out into the road and was struck by a car doing about 50 miles per hour.

 In a pure act of God, he survived. He sustained major injuries, injured that would affect the rest of his life. After stabilizing him and returning my son home, we began investigate if we have a legal case. With a small fortune in medical bills, we were looking for some relief. This was before the internet became what it is today. I didn’t use Google to find our attorney, instead I took a recommendation from a friend.

We hired our first attorney, provided him a retainer, and he got to work. In the beginning, nothing seemed out of the ordinary. But after a few weeks, we’ve heard nothing. Wanting to check the progress of our case, I attempted to contact him.

 I tried for two days in a row.

 No answer.

 On the third day, at the risk of coming off as a crazy ex girlfriend, I called again. I got a receptionist that informed me my attorney was working on my case and would be in touch…

I was rushed off the phone, getting the feeling that the office was too busy to handle our claim…

 About a week later, our legal savior surfaced (I say that sarcastically). At that time, we demanded to meet in person; face to face,  in order to review the progress of our case.

 Our attorney showed up to our house (my son was unable to leave his bed) an hour late. Just looking for answers, I didn’t fault him at the time for his lack of punctuality, I just wanted a glimmer of hope. Our hospital bill exceeded $300,000. Coming from modest means, there was no way I or my son could ever afford to pay that.

 Our attorney shuffled through a large stack of papers, attempting to locate our file. We were one of many cases. As we reviewed the case, he clearly showed he didn’t have a firm grasp of the details of the case. At some points, I wondered if he even remembered anything about the case. To add insult to injury, for the length of our visit, he called my son by the wrong name. In pure embarrassment, I didn’t even correct him…

 Over the course of the following months, I began to lose hope. Our attorney was hard to get in touch with. He lacked professionalism and bedside manners for what had happened. We ended up being told that there was no real case, and recovered nothing from the state or the driver. While I am unsure if this was justice according to New Jersey law, I sure do know this—picking a lawyer who is attentive and will give your case all his or her attention is paramount.

 I’ve longed wondered if I would have enjoyed a different outcome should I have picked a better attorney… My son may have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars because of a poor choice in legal representation.”

 Picking a qualified, dedicated, and seasoned attorney can make all the difference. We’ve heard horror stories over the years, and will surely add this one to the list. While it is unclear if there was a case in the situation you read above, people have the right to a professional service. Many lawyers chose the profession as they are called to serve. At The Law Offices of Jerrod Paul, we believe in providing personal service. Our clients can reach us 24/7. We put our clients first every day. Should you have a legal matter that needs review, please give us a call.

 

The Orlando Community will rebound from the Pulse Shooting and come out stronger than ever.

The Pulse Shooting- 5 Things to Know/Do in the Wake of this Horrible Tragedy

In the wake of the largest mass shooting in American history, Orlando and the country is already beginning the healing process. Over the next few days more details will emerge regarding the domestic terrorist attack that happened in downtown Orlando.

As more details roll in about the Pulse Shooting, here’s a quick list of things you can do to help along with some things you should know.

  • Give Blood- there has been a massive outpouring in people coming together to help in any way possible. Should you have the following blood types, look into donating.
    • Needed blood types: O Negative, O Positive, AB Plasma.
    • Visit OneBlood.org for more information.
  • Support people giving support- One of the lone bright spots in such a horrible travesty is the outpouring of support the community is demonstrating. At OneBlood downtown, local supermarkets and individuals provided food and water for those who waited outside the facility to give blood. If you can do anything to help, do it!
  • Counseling– Grief is a product of tragedy. Should you find yourself needing to speak to a mental health professional contact Victim Services of Central Florida. The mental health community goes above and beyond during tragic times. Should you need services, please reach out.
  • Facebook– The folks at Facebook have provided people that live in the Central Florida community the ability to mark themselves safe. Marking yourself safe helps put out of town family and friends at ease.
  • Support– Lean on close family and friends in times of tragedy. If someone is processing their sadness, anger, and/or grief do your best to listen. Simply talking about your feelings is therapeutic and healing. This horrific and senseless act affects us all.
  • Tips– Should you know anything about the shooter or have any information that will help the cause, contact the FBI.

Our Central Florida community is strong, we are resilient, we will get through this tragedy together. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected.

tropical storm blowing wind

Tropical Storm Colin- 5 Steps to Protect Your Home & Business During a Storm

Being only a few days into hurricane season, we already have our first event on the horizon. Tropical storms and hurricanes alike bring powerful winds and dump tons of rain, while increasing the likelihood of flooding and tornados. With Tropical Storm Colin already wreaking havoc on Florida’s west coast, we’d thought it would be useful to share a quick checklist in how to prepare for a storm.

  1. Update your insurance. Make sure you have a policy that matches your needs.
  2. Secure your windows and doors. Broken doors and windows can let in rain, wind, and debris while increasing the pressure under your roof. Hurricane shutters or boarding up your windows and using deadbolt locks are preferred.
  3. Protect your roof. Consider hurricane straps to ensure your roof is bolted to the rest of your house. Inspect your roof tiles or shingles to make sure they are secure. Loose roof titles become deadly projectiles in high winds!
  4. Trim your trees. Fall trees and fractured branches are a main cause of insurance claims. Be sure to do a little landscaping prior to the storm.
  5. Take inventory of everything in your home. The last thing you want to be doing after you’ve been affected by a storm is to try to remember everything you had in the house. Store this list electronically in the cloud. Download Dropbox or use your iCloud. Storms may be comprised of clouds, but your electronic information is safe in the cloud.

As Tropical Storm Colin carves its path through central and northern Florida over the next several days, bringing high winds and heavy rains, be sure to take steps to ensure you are protected. Despite even the best precautions, these storms are powerful and cause damage. If you are a homeowner or business owner who suffers property damage, call our office for a free consultation about your rights.

Product Liability Law

Product Liability Law- Have you been injured due to a defective product?

Manufactures have a legal responsibility to make safe products. If you have been injured due to a defective product, you may be entitled to damages. Your injuries may be covered under product liability law.

A recent example of a defective product that has effected millions of people is the Takata airbag recall. Takata is a Japanese company that produces airbags found in many popular consumer vehicles, including Acura, Audi, BMW, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Dodge, Ford, Honda, Infiniti, Jaguar, Jeep, Lexus, Lincoln, Mercedes, Nissan, Subaru, Toyota, and Volkswagen. (to see full list, click here). Approximately 34 million vehicles are potentially affected in the United States, and another 7 million have been recalled worldwide.

In some models, the Takata made airbags are defective. When the airbags inflate, they essentially shoot shrapnel out of the container, injuring the passenger.

According to a New York Times article by Clifford Atiyeh, Honda and Takata knew about the airbag problem since 2004. It was in 2004 when an airbag inflator exploded in a 2002 Honda Accord involved in a crash in Alabama, sending metal fragments through the bag and injuring the driver. Honda later learned of three airbag ruptures in 2007 and settled with the victims, says the Times. Honda also is said to have settled with a Civic driver in 2008 who had “blood gushing” from her neck after being hit with a two-inch fragment when the airbag deployed after a “minor accident.” Another woman driving a Honda Accord is reported to have “bled to death in front of her three children” in 2009 when her car’s airbag sent shrapnel into her neck and chest.

A review of federal documents by the Times found that the airbags have caused two deaths and 30 injuries in Honda vehicles and a total of at least 139 reported injuries across all automakers.

While Takata has made headlines of late, it is not the only company that has made defective products that have injured consumers. Each year, millions of people are affected by defective products and are protected under product liability law. Product liability law is different than ordinary injury law, this set of rules can often make it easier for a consumer to recover damages.

Should you have been injured by a defective product, give us a call. The Law Offices of Jerrod Paul has the experience and expertise to see to it that you are fully protected under the law. We will aggressively advocate on your behalf, ensuring you recover the maximum amount you deserve.

 

 

 

 

 

Injured-on-a-plane

Injured on a plane? You need an attorney.

Traveling by plane is statistically the safest way to travel. Compared to automobile or train travel, injuries during air travel are rare; and although injuries are rare, they do happen.

Just recently, officials say at least eight passengers were injured when a JetBlue flight experienced turbulence while flying from San Juan, Puerto Rico to Orlando. Some passengers described the experience like being in a movie scene.

JetBlue spokesman Doug McGraw told Orlando station WESH that medical personnel met the flight when it arrived at Orlando International Airport Monday evening. Eight JetBlue passengers were taken to a hospital for evaluation.

Accidents during air travel are not unlike automobile accidents. Any person who has been injured during air travel should be aware of his or her potential rights. It is not uncommon that the airline or its employees may be held legally responsible for such injuries.

Airlines are held to a high standard of care for their passengers and employees. The Federal Aviation Act ensures airlines take the necessary safety precautions and protocols, ensuring passenger safety. Airlines are responsible for even the slightest negligence on the part of its employees. Carriers like JetBlue are required by law to do all that is reasonable under the circumstances to prevent injuries from occurring.

With that said, an injury does not automatically mean the airline was negligent. It is up to the injured party and their attorney to prove the airline was at fault. The major carriers must exercise best practices in all aspects of aviation; including the maintenance, inspection, loading, operation, and boarding of the plane. The pilot of the aircraft is responsible for overseeing the different aspects of travel (including weather, flight routes, etc.)

The airline is not the only entity that can be held liable for injuries sustained during flight. The manufacturer, seller, or maintenance entity can be held responsible as well.

If you have been injured during air travel you do have rights and may be entitled to damages! Having an experienced attorney is crucial, as they can walk you through this complicated legal matter. Should you have suffered an injury on a plane, call The Law Offices of Jerrod Paul. Consultations are free and you won’t pay a dime in legal fees unless we recover on your behalf.

dog-in-car

Did Florida Just Make Breaking and Entering Legal?

Florida just passed a law making breaking and entering legal.

Yes, you are reading this right.

But before you go smashing your neighbors door in, be sure to read the next paragraph.

In March, Florida Gov. Rick Scott passed a bill making it legal for concerned citizens to break into vehicles to rescue pets or vulnerable people believe to be in imminent danger of suffocation or other harm. Just north of us, a Georgia father will stand a murder trial for locking his child in a hot car for 7 hours.

As the weather warms here in Florida, it is important to remember not to leave your children or pets in a locked car. While 78 and sunny may not seem dangerous, the inside of a car has the potential to get warm quickly.

This type of good Samaritan law protects people from civil liability, however there are a few things you need to know.

Before breaking into a vehicle to save a person or domesticated animal in danger be sure to do the following:

  • Checked to make sure the vehicle is actually locked
  • Have a reasonable belief, based upon the known circumstance, that entering into the vehicle is necessary because the vulnerable person or domestic animal is in imminent danger of suffering harm
  • Called 911 or law enforcement either before or immediately after breaking into the vehicle
  • Use only the necessary amount of force to break in.
  • Remain with the person, child or animal until first-responders arrive on the scene

Bottom line- don’t leave small children or pets in locked cards!

Titanic Legal Case

THE TITANIC SANK 104 YEARS AGO, BUT DID THE LAWSUITS THAT FOLLOWED SINK THE SHIPPING COMPANY?

THE LEGAL BATTLE THAT FOLLOWED THE SINKING OF THE TITANIC

Did the sinking of the Titanic, sink the shipping company that operated the vessel? This is a question that books, movies, and popular culture has not addressed.

Rewind 104 years ago and you’d surely be hearing the headlines about the famed Titanic, which sank on its maiden voyage across the Atlantic. While most know the story of the Titanic, little is talked about the legal aftermath of one of history’s most famed disasters. We’ve come to accept that our modern day society is quite litigious. But what about in 1912?

Could you imagine if a major cruise line sunk today, killing thousands of people? The lawsuits that would follow would surely range in the hundreds of millions. Just last year, a Seattle jury awarded a Springfield, Illinois, man $21.5 million in lawsuit settlement after the man suffered a mild traumatic brain injury when he was hit by an automatic sliding door on board a Holland America Line cruise.

While the amount of consumer protection at the turn of the century left a lot to be desired, it didn’t stop people from suing after the sinking of the Titanic.

While reports are conflicting, it is generally accepted that the shipping company that managed the Titanic only had to endure 13-16 million dollars in claims.

The accident contributed to thousands of people perishing; the loss of life and property was astonishing. While adjusting for inflation puts the numbers in the 135 million dollar range, many of the cases were settled out of court for much less than the original claim. Even for 1912 standards, the legal process was drawn out. The first legal hurdle both sides had to tackle was which countries laws applied. Britain’s laws allowed for up to 2 million dollars to be paid out, while American law was much more generous to the shipping company, capping damages at $96,000.

In the aftermath of the Titanic, victims had to fight to receive compensation from the White Star Line (the shipping company). While the United States had legal disputes to tackle in regards to the case, the main trial took place in Britain. The courts ultimately ruled in favor of damage caps that favored the shipping company, the plaintiffs settled out of court. In modern times, victims and their respective families would have a much easier time in court. Trying a case is never easy, but with today’s technology, coupled with advancements in consumer protection, the likelihood of a favorable outcome is higher.

While technology has come leaps and bounds since the Titanic first set sail, that doesn’t mean cruise ships are entirely safe. In 2014, 31 people died on a cruise ship. While some of these deaths were accidental or due to natural causes, the cruise ship industry did not escape liability. Each year, the mainstream media catches wind of someone falling overboard. There is technology available to the cruise companies that detects overboard passengers. However, some ships are not equipped with it. At The Law Offices of Jerrod Paul, we are interested in protecting your rights as you set sail. The cruise lines have a responsibility to ensure a safe environment for their passengers to enjoy the sail. Bottom line is, should you have suffered an injury on a cruise ship or vessel, make sure you call The Law Offices of Jerrod Paul, you may have a case.

construction-injury-lawyer

Construction Injury

If you have been injured on your job site, you may have a claim.

Florida is growing fast. And with that growth comes tons of new construction. In fact, in 2014 Florida led the nation in construction jobs. Residents of Central Florida only need to venture down 417 to see the Lake Nona area exploding. Orlando is pushing west as well, and developers plan to add thousands of homes in the Winter Garden area off 429. While the building is a good sign for the local Florida economy, the new construction also has risks; new building means the likelihood of workers suffering construction related injuries increases.

Working construction is one of the hardest and most dangerous jobs in America.   Approximately 150,000 injuries occur as a result of construction workplace accidents annually (The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). As you may guess, the leading cause of construction workplace accidents are falls. Another substantial portion of the workers injured on the job suffer head injuries, which frequently result in brain damage.

While construction related deaths don’t make national headlines, they do happen. They happen more than you think.  Before the OSHA was created 43 years ago, an estimated 14,000 workers were killed on the job every year. Today, workplaces are much safer, going from 38 fatal injuries a day to 12. The BLS reported in 2008 that, in Florida, construction accidents made up 44 percent of the work-related fatalities in the state.

YOU MAY BE ENTITLED TO COMPENSATION AFTER CONSTRUCTION ACCIDENTS

Workers have rights. When a construction worker suffer injuries at work, they have the right to seek compensation for their injuries. These workers’ rights, however, are more limited than in many other personal injury lawsuit situations. Should you have suffered a construction injury on the job, be sure to call our experienced law firm.

Every personal injury case in unique. Depending on the circumstances of the worker’s accident and injuries, the worker may recover due to the negligence of the non-employer. These parties could include property owners & managers, general contractors, construction managers, developers, engineers and architects. As an example, if a worker suffers harm as a result of an accident where a faulty tool or defective equipment is in question, then that worker may pursue a claim against the manufacturer of that device under the legal theory of product liability. These devices may include safety harnesses or other safety equipment.

The bottom line is, if you have suffered a construction injury, you need to seek medical attention and call The Law Offices of Jerrod Paul.

Car Accident Attorney

The Car Accident Check List

Have you been injured in a car accident? There are some things you need to do in order to protect yourself!

1. Stay at the scene but be sure to secure your safety!

Safety first!

2. Check on all drivers and passengers

Make sure the parties involved

3. Call the police

4. Exchange information

Get the names, numbers, addresses, drivers’ license numbers, license plate numbers, and basic insurance information from all drivers involved. If there are passengers, also obtain their names, numbers, and addresses. In talking to other drivers, try to be cordial and cooperative.

5. Don’t apologize or admit liability! 

6. Talk to witnesses

Ask every witness what he or she saw. Get their names, numbers, or addresses, if possible. Ask locals if they’ve ever witnessed other accidents in the same place.

7. Inform your insurance company

Promptly tell your insurance company you’ve been in an accident. Cooperate with them and tell them the truth about what happened and the extent of your injuries. Explain the facts clearly.

8. Keep track of your medical treatment

In Florida, its best practice that you seek medical treatment without 14 days of your accident.

9. Take pictures

Take photographs of any damage to your vehicle as soon as possible after the accident. Photos helps your insurance adjuster determine how much you should be compensated for the damage to your car and can help in court. Pictures of your car before the accident can offer a great “compare and contrast” to show the true extent of the damage sustained in the accident.

10. Get a property damage valuation

11. Use caution in discussing the incident

Don’t talk to anyone about the accident other than your lawyer, your insurance company, and the police.

12. Be wary of early settlement offers

Be very cautious of any early settlement options. You should consult an attorney before accepting any offer.

13. Consider hiring an attorney

If the accident cause injury or significant property damage, you should consider hiring an experienced attorney. You may be entitled to damages and compensation from the insurance company and/or the other parties involved.

At The Law Offices of Jerrod Paul, all consultations are free. You will not pay a dime in legal fees unless we recover a settlement on your behalf.