As a personal injury law firm with its main office in Ocala, Florida, we have received numerous inquiries about the recent outbreaks of Fungal Meningitis. The majority of such cases in Florida occurred here in Marion County. While this issue is under scrutiny from various health organizations.it is extremely important that anyone who has received a pain medication by injection (or numerous other types of injections) in the last 3 months be very vigilant about any symptoms that could be related to this contamination and seek immediate medical help.
We at Blanchard,Merriam,Adel and Kirkland PA are already working on the investigation of this issue for several clients and will continue to post new information as it becomes available.
Several lawsuits have already been filed and we are working with the attorneys on many of them to insure the complete protection of our client’s legal rights.
Having represented hundreds of persons who have suffered a personal injury from many different causes—automobile accidents,medical malpractice, drug interaction, products liability etc., we have become aware that social media—Facebooks, Myspace, twitter, may have a very real and unintended effect upon our client’s claims.
These social media sources are being used to gather information about injured persons which is then used against them. Most people use these services as a fun going means of communicating good things about their lives—Most people do not elaborate on the pains and problems that they may be experiencing from a personal injury. Such communications would not be interesting to our friends and would make one seem like a complainer. Thus a defendant or his or her insurance company may take this information out of context to make it seem that a person who is injured could not be this cheerful and that if they were injured they surely would be mentioning it to their friends. We encourage all of our clients to be very careful about the contents of any postings and to be very aware that their just claims for personal injury may be adversely impacted by anything on any social media…
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) is a federal law which restricts the use of automated equipment to dial cellular telephones. It is unlawful to use any automatic telephone dialing system or pre-recorded voice mail to make any call to a cellular telephone or any other service for which the party called is charged for the call.
Some debt collection agencies use predictive dialers which place calls without human involvement until a connection is made, and then attempt to connect the recipient with a debt collector. Some debt collection agencies are also violating the TCPA by trying to collect debts which have been “charged off” by the original creditor.
If you have received a robo-call or a pre-recorded call on your cell phone, or need more information, fill free to make an appointment to discuss this with Lauren Merriam.
A new Florida law states that in the absence of a will, if a decedent’s descendants are also the descendants of the surviving spouse, the surviving spouse receives the entire estate if the surviving spouse has no other descendants. If the surviving spouse has at least one descendant who is not also a descendant of the decedent, the surviving spouse receives 50% of the estate.
As the political debate heats up we are likely once again to hear demands for “tort reform” If this meant that personal injury accident victims would be entitled to just compensation only if they were truly injured and the other person was truly responsible—who could oppose it. This is not what it means. It means placing arbitrary and an unreasonable obstacles in the path of the unfortunate victims of injury caused by others.
We have represented persons injured in many different types of situations and each is unique as are each of our clients. Our personal injury clients come from all over the state and nation but primarily from Marion,Citrus,Lake, Sumter and Alachua counties. Often times when an injured client first comes to us they too have the mistaken impression—gleamed from the propaganda promulgated by insurance companies and some politicians, that monetary compensation will be quickly forthcoming and with little real effort. In the 35 plus years that we have helped accident victims we have learned that this is very rarely the case.
It is for this reason that we have worked so hard to develop not only the skills and experience of our attorneys but also those of our staff of paralegals, investigators, IT personnel and secretaries. Should you require the services of an attorney we look forward to serving your needs.
Whether your particular injury was caused by a motor vehicle accident, medical malpractice, drug interaction or a host other possible causes, we have the resources to protect your rights.
Don’t be deceived by catchy slogans whose titles often imply the opposite of their true intent.
Let’s seek justice together!
Consumers who purchase automobiles or other expensive products often have finance agreements which include a credit life or disability charge. Under some circumstances, a consumer who pays such a loan off early (including simply trading in the automobile for another) is due a refund of an unearned premium. If you think that you are entitled to such a refund, feel free to make an appointment to discuss such with Lauren Merriam.
One of the most important things a business owner can do to minimize its exposure to its employees in the employment litigation arena is to draft job descriptions that specifically describe the employees job duties and the employers expectations for any given job. This practice reduces confusion, makes employees more accountable and increases efficiency. It also helps to protect an employer later on should a discrimination lawsuit arise because it will minimize any disputes with respect to the exact job duties a given employee was required to perform.
I am proud to be one of only five attorneys in the state to have received the distinction of being awarded board certification in both Appellate Practice and Civil Trial. I am sure however that most people do not fully appreciate what this means. It is not like many awards which can be bought or given gratuitously, it must be earned. First an attorney must make an application which is reviewed by other board certified lawyers before he or she is allowed to sit for the exams. Before the application can be filed the applicant must meet very stringent standards of experience in the particular field of certification and must be “peer reviewed” not only by other attorneys but also by judges before whom the attorney has practiced. The exams are strenuous and the passing rate hovers around sixty percent. In addition the certification must be renewed every 5 years. I was first certified in Civil Trial in 1989 and in Appellate Practice in 1995. I have been continuously certified in both since then. I am humbly proud that these certifications allow me to designate myself as an “expert”; only a board certified attorney may do so.
Should you need the services of a trial or appellate attorney please consider board certification as one of the criteria to be used in evaluating your selection of an attorney to represent you. This is true regardless of the basis of your need for an attorney. Board certified lawyers often concentrate in different areas and one board certified attorney who does not concentrate in the area of your particular need will recognize this and refer you to one who does.
I have successfully used my experience in state and federal courts in Florida and many other states; both at the trial and appellate levels. I have tried Medical Malpractice, Automobile Accident, Products Liability, Aviation Accident, and Slip and Fall cases. I have handled complex appeals and I am licensed to argue before the United States Supreme Court.
Lastly I would like to point out that our firm is unique among most trial law firms in that we represent both persons who are injured and seek just compensation for their injuries and those who are unjustly accused of having injured someone else. We do not however represent insurance companies: we represent people.
Let’s seek justice together.
DOCK A. BLANCHARD
Over the years as a medical malpractice attorney in Ocala, Florida, I have learned that there are several common but avoidable mistakes made by victims of medical negligence. These mistakes often reduce and can eliminate an individual’s chances of success in medical negligence litigation.
First, victims of medical negligence need to seek legal counsel immediately. Many people wait far too long to see an attorney after malpractice occurs and end up losing their right to sue because of the delay. In Florida, the Statute of Limitations for a medical malpractice claim is only two years from the date that the victim knew or should have known that medical negligence took place, whichever is later.
Although two years seems like a long time to bring a claim, it is not in the medical malpractice context. Often, it takes four or five months for medical malpractice lawyers to compile a client’s medical records and then find medical experts to review them prior to initiating litigation. Consequently, many attorneys will not take good medical negligence cases even when they arise within the two year Statute of Limitations because of the complexity of claims and the length of time it takes to prepare and file a lawsuit. Therefore, the quicker you seek legal counsel, the higher the likelihood that your legal claim will be pursued.
Another common mistake made by potential medical malpractice clients is not asking for and keeping copies of medical records when or soon after medical services are rendered. This simple step can greatly speed up case review by an attorney and will reduce costs significantly.
Furthermore, it is always preferable for a patient to request copies of their medical records from a healthcare provider as opposed to a records request coming from a lawyer’s office. In my experience, healthcare providers that receive a records request from a lawyer’s office are immediately alerted that a lawsuit may be coming. When this happens, healthcare providers often consult with defense attorneys and begin taking steps to defend potential legal claims before they begin. As a result, the patient’s advantage of surprise is often lost. By requesting copies of your records when medical treatment is rendered, you have the records in your possession for quick review and avoid alerting healthcare providers that they may be sued in the future.
If you reside in or are involved in the management of a gated residential community, you may want to know that effective July 1, 2011, Florida Statutes §48.031(7) (2011), now provides that a gated residential community, including a condominium, cooperative or homeowners association, must grant unannounced entry into the community, including its common areas and common elements, to a process server attempting to serve process on a defendant or witness residing within or known to be inside the community.