Category Archives: Personal Injury

personal injury attorney

How to Choose Personal Injury Attorney

By | Auto Accidents, Personal Injury | No Comments

How to Choose Personal Injury Attorney

Choosing a реrѕоnаl іnjurу аttоrnеу is muсh dіffеrеnt frоm dесіdіng оn аn аttоrnеу for a dіvоrсе or rеаl estate transaction. Injurу саѕеѕ are dіffеrеnt from аnу оthеr tуре оf lаw and іf уоu dоn’t get the right аttоrnеу уоu соuld burdened with mеdісаl bіllѕ аnd additional ѕuffеrіng іn thе future.

Mаnу реrѕоnаl іnjurу аttоrnеуѕ wіll соntасt уоu оr уоur fаmіlу as ѕооn аѕ, if not bеfоrе, you аrе hospitalized. Yоu should nоt dо business wіth these “аmbulаnсе сhаѕеrѕ”, whо usually саrе mоrе аbоut the аwаrd thаn thеіr сlіеnt аnd оftеn use quеѕtіоnаblе tасtісѕ to gеt уоu to retain thеm.

On thе оthеr hаnd, it іѕ реrfесtlу ассерtаblе to contact a рrоѕресtіvе client bу mail and оffеr the services оf a law firm. Yоu can ѕtаrt wіth these роlіtе соntасtѕ or уоu can get recommendations from family, frіеndѕ, аnd co-workers. Yоu саn аlѕо lооk on the іntеrnеt fоr a personal іnjurу attorney and gеt a lіѕt оf names to іnvеѕtіgаtе.

In case of personal injury, you should choose an attorney or firm that specializes in that area of the law.

You ѕhоuld сhооѕе an аttоrnеу who hаѕ nоt bееn disciplined bу thе Flоrіdа Bar Association аnd іѕ іn good standing wіth the Bеttеr Buѕіnеѕѕ Burеаu (BBB). Yоu can dо a search оn thе Intеrnеt uѕіng the attorney’s name оr thе firm’s name to fіnd out if there are аnу clients thаt hаvе bееn dissatisfied wіth thеіr ѕеrvісеѕ.

Onсе уоu fіnd twо оr more аttоrnеуѕ thаt уоu thіnk уоu’d lіkе tо dеаl with, you саn arrange аn interview or соnѕultаtіоn. Most аttоrnеуѕ wіll gladly vіѕіt уоu at thе hоѕріtаl оr аt hоmе ѕо don’t worry if you саn’t gеt tо their offices.

personal injury burn

Personal Injury – Burns

By | Personal Injury | No Comments

Personal Injury-Burns

Personal injury resulting from a spill of hot coffee, tea, soup, or other hot liquid food item is a unique type of injury that requires specific knowledge about burns. In our personal injury practice, we have seen many types of burn cases caused by negligent employees of fast food restaurants and gas stations.

Causes of burns

Persons injured by hot beverages or food items usually complain either that the person serving them the food did not properly secure the container, causing the hot liquid to spill out onto the person expectantly or that the hot liquid was unreasonably hot, causing a much more severe burn than it should have caused.

Many people know about the McDonald’s case in which the jury awarded the plaintiff $2.7 million in punitive damages. The woman suing McDonald’s ordered a hot coffee through the drive-thru and actually spilled the coffee onto her lap after she left the drive-thru area of the restaurant. Her attorney argued that McDonald’s kept its coffee too hot and although it was his client’s own fault that the coffee spilled, her injuries were more severe than they would have been if the beverage was a reasonable temperature.

The unique nature of burn injuries is that at first when the skin is burned, it may not appear to be serious because it takes 24 to 48 hours for the burn to declare itself on the skin. This means that when a person is burned, initially their skin will appear pink and slightly discolored but after several hours pass, the skin begins to blister, redden, and peel. Another interesting attribute to a burn injury is that a second degree burn is excruciating painful while a third degree burn, which is more serious in nature, will not hurt because the skin loses sensitivity when burned deep enough.

Both second and third degree burns can leave permanent scars and discolor the skin. Many times there is nothing a person can do to reverse the effect of a burn.

The medical industry has started to classify burns as partial thickness and full thickness rather than first degree, second degree, and third degree. Therefore, the medical records will differ in description of the injury depending on which physician is recording the injury.

If you have been injured as a result of hot liquid spill, you should seek medical attention immediately. It is important that your injury is recorded, and you are given proper medication and care instructions. You should keep the container in which your hot liquid food or drink was served to you and find out if a surveillance video is available of the incident.

Speaking to a qualified and knowledgeable personal injury attorney is important and should be done as soon as possible so that any evidence can be properly preserved. We have worked with clients that have suffered injuries from burns and can speak to you about your case. Call us today to schedule an appointment with Attorney Louiza Tarassova at 1-855-55-GO-LEGAL.

Should I go to the ER and Who Will Pay?

By | Auto Accidents, Personal Injury | No Comments

In most cases, unless the injury is so sever that an injured person is incapacitated and must be take away by ambulance, people are very reluctant to go to the emergency room. The biggest fear is the medical bills from the ER. I want to clarify this issue for people because I see that it becomes a problem later in my clients’ personal injury cases.

If you have been seriously injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, for example a car accident or a slip and fall at a store, you should not hesitate about going to the ER immediately. Going to the emergency room not only allows a medical professional to assess your condition but it also documents the incident. Documentation is super important in a personal injury case because if a doctor did not document it, it did not happen. Or at least that is how the defense looks at it. Also the defense likes to argue to the jury that the injury must not have been as serious as the plaintiff describe because he or she did not seek medical attention immediately.

Medical bills should not be your primary concern. First, you will not be required to pay the hospital on the day of your treatment. Always request an invoice to come by mail. Second, any medical bill that stems from a personal injury caused by another party (not you) is the responsibility of the at-fault party or their insurance company. Therefore, if you hire a personal injury attorney, your attorney will demand that the at-fault party pay for your medical bills. Finally, most medical bills are grossly inflated and can be negotiated down to a fraction of the original price.

Therefore, if you are seriously injured at a restaurant, hotel, store, or in a car accident you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. Medical bills will be resolved during your personal injury case by your attorney. And remember that not going to see a doctor immediately after the injury occurs may critically impact the worth of your personal injury case.

How Long Will My Personal Injury Lawsuit Take?

By | Litigation, Personal Injury | No Comments

Timeline of a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Stage One: Before a Lawsuit is Filed “Pre-suit Period”

Approximate Timeframe: 3-6 months. Medical Malpractice is 6-12 months.

What is your attorney doing? During the pre-suit period, a good attorney will initially attempt to resolve the case. But simultaneously to that, your attorney is also gathering evidence and assessing the case based on that evidence. A good attorney understands that it is important not to rush into a lawsuit but at the same time aggressively moves the case forward.

What is required of you? During the pre-suit period it is your responsibility to update your attorney on the status of your injuries and focus on getting well. Attending all medical appointments is very important. Your perfect attendance will pave the way to proving your case.

What you should expect? A settlement is possible before a lawsuit is filed, but do not count on it. Although an initial offer may come from the defendant, it is usually a very low amount compared to what your attorney can get for you later in the case and a good attorney will rarely recommend that you accept the initial offer.   But each case is different, and depending on the severity of your injuries and the clarity of fault, a high risk case can usually be resolved with your attorney’s hard work and skill during the pre-suit period.

I like to do everything possible to resolve the case for my clients early. But at some point it is important to take the focus off trying to resolve a case that is clearly not resolving and direct the focus onto winning at trial.

Stage Two: During the Lawsuit “Litigation Period”

Approximate timeframe: 6 months-2 years.

What is your attorney doing? When all required evidence is collected and it becomes clear that the defendant is not willing to settle the case for a reasonable amount, your attorney will file a lawsuit. Your attorney will be filing legal documents with the court, requesting evidence from the other side, compiling and proving evidence she has collected on your behalf, communicating with opposing counsel, attneding court hearings and preparing the case to trial. Much of the work that your attorney will perform on a case will be done without your involvement. And at some point, if the case is taking a while to resolve, you will wonder why the process is taking so long. You must not forget that the wheels of justice move slowly and the judge has many cases in addition to yours. Therefore, a monthly check-in with your attorney about your case will keep you updated and informed.

What is required of you? You must continue to focus on getting better and attending all of your medical appointments. Your attorney may request additional information from you to provide to the other side and you may be required to attend a deposition and a mediation. Your personal injury attorney will guide you through the process and explain exactly how each step of the litigation works.

What you should expect? A settlement of your case is possible and highly likely with a good attorney. Settlements usually occur during mediation and the amount you will be offered by the defendant will depend on the evidence that supports your case and your lawyer’s skill and diligence. If you do not come to an agreement with the defense on the amount of damages due to you for the injuries you have sustained, you and your attorney will start preparing for trial.

I like to move my cases quickly and request a trial date in the early stages of litigation. This way, if it becomes clear that a reasonable settlement is not possible, we are ready to go to trial within a few months of the mediation.

Stage Three: After the Lawsuit Concludes

Approximate timeframe: 1 month- 2 years.

What is your attorney doing? If your case has settled before the trial, your attorney will review important legal documents which you will have to sign. Your settlement funds will not be available to you immediately. It usually takes four weeks to receive payment from the other side. Your attorney will do the required accounting and may settle your medical bills depending on your agreement with your lawyer.

If your case goes to trial and you win at trial, the case is not over. There are many post trial matters that usually come up, including a possible appeal from the other side. The post trial process can take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years depending on how you and your attorney decide to proceed.

What is required of you? If the case settles, you will have to sign some documents releasing the defendant from further liability.   You will be required to keep the settlement amount confidential and not share the details of the settlement with anyone.

If the case concludes after a trial, you should be patient. Unfortunately, the case is not over just because you won at trial.  You should follow the instructions of your attorney, but the most important job you will have to do is wait.

What you should expect? I tell my clients that this is the most important time to be patient. Whether I settled the case or won at trial, there are still many things to do before I can get that check to my clients.

If you have questions about your personal injury case, call us at 1-855-55-GO-LEGAL.

Why Get Uninsured Motorist Coverage?

By | Auto Accidents, Insurance, Personal Injury | No Comments

I cannot stress enough the importance of adding Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage to your auto insurance policy. Paying a little extra for your insurance premium is well worth it. A car accident can have a huge impact on a person’s life and their family’s life.

A serious auto accident can cause an injured driver to be financially ruined.

Under Florida “No Fault” law, a person who is injured in an auto accident at another driver’s fault must first exhaust his or her own Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits before seeking compensation from the at-fault driver. Once those benefits are fully exhausted, then the victim of the car accident can look to the at-fault driver’s Bodily Injury coverage for monetary recovery.

Whenever a client comes to our office with injuries resulting from a car accident, one of the first things we do is find out how much insurance coverage the at-fault driver has. A person that caused the accident can have no insurance, they can have some insurance (low limits) or they can have adequate insurance (high limits). Each person decides how much Bodily Injury insurance they want to pay for depending on how much of their own assets they want to protect. Uninsured Motorist coverage can protect you from situations where the at-fault driver has little or no insurance coverage.  UM also protects you if the at-fault driver simply runs away from the scene of the accident.

What most people do not realize is that they are sharing the road with careless drivers who are underinsured.   The only way to protect yourself is to add Uninsured Motorist coverage to your auto insurance policy.

If you have been involved in a car accident, you should speak to an attorney immediately. An attorney who handles auto accident cases will deal with the insurance companies while you focus on getting better.

Call The Law Office of Louiza Tarassova P.A. today to discuss your auto accident case at 1-855-55-GO-LEGAL.

Lost in Translation: How Huge Corporations Play Nasty Games with Victims of Personal Injury.

By | Personal Injury | No Comments

Ever since I started representing clients in personal injury lawsuits, I started seeing a pattern. Large corporations, who were clearly responsible for the person’s injuries would act borderline illegally in an effort to make evidence disappear or alter it to make it very difficult for the injured person to prove their case.

In one particular case against a worldwide company worth approximately $179.5 billion,* I represented the company’s employee who had sustained an injury resulting from repeated physical labor. In Florida, employers are required to provide Workers’ Compensation coverage for all of their employees in case something like this occurs. The law also requires employees to inform their managers within 30 days of the injury.

My client’s injury occurred during her shift and was serious enough that she could not continue to perform her duties. She immediately told her manager that she had suffered an injury and requested to clock out to go see a doctor. She was not provided with any information regarding her automatic right to be treated by a physician, free of charge. Nor had she any idea that her employer is required to continue providing treatment until she heals, as well as compensation for missed work.

My client spoke limited English and this huge corporation took advantage of the fact.

She found out that she could make a claim to her employer only after paying out-of-pocket for several visits to her own physician. When she came to make the claim, the company had her write an explanation of how she sustained her injury. Since she could not write in English, they instructed her to write in Russian (her native language). Several days after she filed the Workers’ Compensation claim, she was officially denied coverage. The denial was based on two things: 1) her employer did not have a record of her notice of injury and 2) according to a translation of my client’s explanation of injury, the employer determined that the injury was unrelated to her job and therefore not covered by Workers’ Compensation laws.

Of course she was confused. Luckily she found our law firm and retained me immediately.

I immediately requested a copy of the Russian version of my client’s explanation and the company’s translation. The attorney even chuckled when I told him I wanted to see the Russian version. He said with a snicker, “What, can you read Russian or something?” I calmly told him I could.

When I received it, I was shocked. The translation, which did not indicate the name of the translator, completely misstated my client’s account of what happened. Later, when I took a deposition of the claims representative responsible for denying Workers’ Compensation claims at this multibillion dollar corporation, she stated that based on my client’s “own statements” the company had “proof” that the injury had no connection to her job. When confronted on the identity of the translator and the accuracy of the translation, she had no explanation. Shortly thereafter, we settled at mediation for a substantial amount of money, which was enough to pay for future medical treatment including surgery.

My client, who had worked for the company for over a decade, was almost left empty handed with an untreated injury, which required an expensive surgery that she could not afford.

If I had not been able to communicate with my client in Russian and truly understand her position and if I could not instantly evaluate the two conflicting documents, she would have been a victim of a game large corporations often play. I’ve seen many of these types of cases across Florida as well as surrounding states where the personal injury attorney must fight for the client to uncover the wrong doing.

In this example, the corporation took a chance, knowing that the likelihood of my client being able to find an attorney with whom she could communicate accurately was very low. On the surface, given the information the corporation had against her, it looked like she had no case, but when she retained an appropriate advocate to stand up for her, the giant buckled.

I have personally witnessed many other examples of how large corporations stop at nothing to avoid responsibility. When I take a new case, my staff and I always joke about what the new defendant corporation will be caught doing. Unfortunately this is common, but with a sharp attorney the client has a chance.

* According to Forbes Magazine

Top 5 Reasons to Hire a Woman Personal Injury Attorney in Florida

By | Personal Injury | No Comments

Let’s face it; most personal injury attorneys are men. Female attorneys are rare in the practice of personal injury for many reasons, but you may have a very big advantage to hiring a woman attorney for your personal injury case. Here are the TOP FIVE REASONS why you want to hire a woman attorney for your Florida personal injury case.

1.Trial Juries Love Them. Women attorneys are perfect for jury trials. If your female attorney knows what she is doing, her style will make the jury feel comfortable and the jurors will connect with her better than with a male attorney. This means that when it comes time to deliberate, the jurors are going be more agreeable with your female attorney’s proposed compensation award.

2. They Negotiating Big Settlements. Female lawyers are better at negotiating large settlements. Women by nature are better at approaching difficult problems in a creative way. In situations where your injury is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, it is your attorney’s job to convince the other lawyer to send the check. In order to do that, your attorney has to be patient and persistent, something that female lawyers do very well.

3. Intimate Injuries. Lawyers who are women are less intimidating when you have to explain very intimate and personal details about your injury. During your case, you will be requested to show your most intimate personal injuries to your attorney and discuss your emotional suffering with her. Women are more disarming and less intimidating, making the process much more comfortable for you.

4. They Get Attention. Women attorneys who practice personal injury get more attention because they are rare. If you go to the courthouse, you will see many black, gray, and tan suits walking around, the majority of them are men. When a woman walks into the courthouse, people pay attention! Therefore, when it comes time to make a legal argument to the judge, they listen carefully.

5. They Understand You. Female attorneys can empathize with you better than a male attorney. The most important aspect of an attorney-client relationship is an attorneys’ understanding of her client’s everyday struggles as a result of an accident or trauma. Women attorneys are the best at relating to their clients and understanding what the client is going through.

If you are looking for a woman attorney to win your personal injury case, call Louiza Tarassova today at 407-622-1885 or email to info@mylawadvocate.com.  She has a passion for beating large corporations at their own games and has most recently won a $250,000 jury verdict in Orlando, Florida against Pollo Tropical.  For more on that story click here.  

$250,000 Jury Verdict Awarded Against Pollo Tropical for Careless Packaging of Hot Soup, Severely Burning Woman

By | Personal Injury | No Comments

ORLANDO, Florida. On June 2, 2016, after a three day trial, a jury returned a verdict of $250,000 for a young woman who suffered second-degree burns to her inner thighs and genital area when a bowl of hot “Caribbean” soup fell through the bottom of a paper bag and spilled on her lap at a Pollo Tropical drive-thru. The young woman’s attorney argued that Pollo Tropical should have used a plastic bag to serve the hot soup to-go.

Witnesses testified that the hot soup was served straight out of the kettle and within seconds was on the young woman’s lap. The drive-thru attendant that served the hot soup stated that she was never trained to use a plastic bag to package hot soup for customers and regularly saw other employees serving hot soup in paper bags.

Almost a year prior to this incident, another young woman complained to Pollo Tropical that she was seriously burned when the hot chicken soup suddenly fell through the bottom of a paper bag minutes after she received it from Pollo Tropical. The soup spilled on her, causing second-degree burns to her inner thigh. In that case, the young woman had to have her pants surgically removed at the emergency room because the heat of the soup melted her skin to the fabric of her pants. She claimed that she sustained permanent scaring as a result.

Pollo Tropical is not the only fast food chain guilty of carelessly serving hot soup in paper bags. Many restaurants do the same, failing to understand the danger. When the paper bag becomes wet, it begins to disintegrate silently as it makes its way to the customer. Restaurant chains like Pollo Tropical have an obligation to ensure that their employees serve food in a safe manner. Taking the extra step of placing the order in a plastic bag can make the difference between a spoiled lunch and a ruined body.

The injured woman’s attorney, Louiza Tarassova notes that the most frustrating aspect of this case has been Pollo Tropical’s arrogance.

“From the beginning Pollo Tropical did not take my client’s claims seriously and did not have any sympathy for the pain and suffering that resulted from its negligence.”

Pollo Tropical never acknowledged any wrongdoing and never apologized to the young woman.

Louiza Tarassova, the attorney that represented the young woman at trial graduated from Stetson College of Law and has her own legal practice in Orlando, Florida. Her law firm focuses primarily on litigating personal injury cases against large corporations.

For more information please contact The Law Office of Louiza Tarassova, P.A. at info@mylawadvocate.com or call 407-622-1885.

"Let Us be Your Law Advocate." Contact Us Today