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Nov  06,  2014
By Jennifer Burns

Jennifer A. Burns, of Carlson Meissner Hart & Hayslett explains that the rule of “comparative negligence” could limit or block the personal injury damages. An example of this is in the news concerning the amount of damages comedian Tracy Morgan is entitled to receive following his tragic accident involving a Walmart truck.

The June 7 six-car pileup on the New Jersey Turnpike that severely injured comedian Tracy Morgan and killed a fellow passenger remained in the headlines, most recently due to Walmart’s claim in court papers that Morgan's injuries, sustained after a Walmart truck driver rear-ended his limousine, were allegedly "caused, in whole or in part, by plaintiffs' failure to properly wear an appropriate available seat belt restraint device." The case is Morgan v. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., 14-cv-4388, U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey (Trenton). Walmart’s defense is known in the legal world as a contributory negligence or comparative negligence defense.

In Florida, the theory of comparative negligence could impact a personal injury victim’s compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering and lost wages following an automobile or trucking accident. Section 768.81 of the 2014 Florida Statutes, states that, “in a negligence action, the court shall enter judgment against each party liable on the basis of such party’s percentage of fault.” This means that if an injured driver or passenger contributed to the severity of his injuries by not wearing a seatbelt, the amount of damages he may recover may be reduced based on the percentage of fault attributed to him. For example, if a victim suffered injuries worth $100,000 in a trucking accident, but was 10% at fault during the accident, the value of his claim may be reduced to $90,000.

Jennifer A. Burns states, “comparative negligence comes into play most often when negotiating settlements with insurance companies.” Burns notes that when multiple parties are found to have contributed in some way to an automobile accident, the insurance policies of each party are subject to claims. A skilled personal injury attorney can help victims of trucking and automobile accidents evaluate the impact of their own carelessness on the value of their claim, review the relevant insurance policies to determine the best approach and options for pursuing claims, and negotiate with insurance adjusters to obtain the maximum compensation for their injuries.


Posted in Personal Injury
Oct  14,  2014
By Edward D. Carlson


Edward D. Carlson alerts Florida auto accident victims that full compensation for injuries will not be awarded if they do not comply with the strict requirements of the state’s recently amended Personal Injury Protection (PIP) law.

Sweeping changes to Florida’s PIP law, which became effective in 2013, make it more difficult for individuals injured in automobile accidents to recover medical expenses, lost wages and death benefits under their PIP auto insurance policy. PIP is “no-fault” auto insurance coverage available to people hurt in Florida car crashes regardless of who was at fault for the accident. All Florida drivers are required to carry PIP coverage in the amount of $10,000.

The recent amendments to the PIP law, intended to curtail insurance fraud, impose a number of new restrictions on individuals seeking PIP benefits for injuries received in an automobile accident, including:

1) Injured individuals must seek medical treatment within 14 days of an auto accident.

2) Medical care must be “lawfully provided, supervised, ordered or prescribed by a licensed physician, licensed osteopathic physician, licensed chiropractic physician, licensed dentist, or must be rendered in a hospital, a facility that owns or is owned by a hospital, or a licensed emergency transportation and treatment provider. Follow up services and care requires a referral from such providers and must be consistent with the underlying medical diagnosis rendered when the individual received initial services and care.”

3) To receive the full $10,000 in PIP benefits, injured individuals must have an "Emergency Medical Condition,” defined as a “medical condition manifesting itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity that the absence of immediate medical attention could reasonably be expected to result in serious jeopardy to patient health, serious impairment to bodily functions, or serious dysfunction of a body organ or part.” If an individual is not diagnosed with an emergency medical condition, he is only entitled to $2,500 in PIP benefits.

4) Massage and acupuncture services are not covered by PIP policies.

5) An insurer may require injured individuals to undergo an “Examination Under Oath” (EUO). Failure to comply with the EUO demand will make an injured person ineligible to receive compensation under PIP.

6) An insurer may also require injured individuals to undergo an independent medical examination (IME) to determine if their injuries are as severe as indicated by the initial medical examiner. Failure to comply with the IME demand will make an injured person ineligible to receive compensation under PIP.

“Because auto accident injuries are often soft tissue injuries that do not appear right away, it is common for accident victims to refuse treatment at the scene of the accident and only see a doctor when pain eventually surfaces and becomes unbearable. The amended law makes it more important than ever for car accident victims to see a physician right away to make sure they don’t lose their rights to benefits under PIP,” said accident attorney Edward D. Carlson of Carlson Meissner Hart & Hayslett. Attorney Carlson also recommends consulting with a personal injury attorney immediately to learn how to protect and maximize PIP benefits following a car accident.

Attorney Edward D. Carlson helps auto accident victims evaluate their recovery options and develop an effective strategy for obtaining maximum compensation. He has more than four decades of experience successfully taking on insurance companies on behalf of car accident victims.

For additional information on Florida’s amended PIP laws, consult the 2012 Florida Statutes: This information is provided for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.


Tags: Clearwater Injury Attorneys, Clearwater accident attorneys, Florida PIP laws, Carlson Meissner hart & Hayslett
Posted in Personal Injury
Jul  21,  2014
By Carlson, Meissner, Hart & Hayslett, P.A.

The Law offices of Carlson, Meissner, Hart & Hayslett, P.A. are pleased to announce the relocation and expansion of our Bradenton office. The new office is located at 714 Manatee Avenue East, Suite C, in Bradenton, Florida. In an effort to continue to address our clients needs, our new, larger office will have updated facilities with larger conference rooms, including more space for depositions, mediations and conferences. Terri Cromley, the Managing Partner of the Bradenton office, will continue to provide quality representation of her clients in the areas of Workers' Compensation and Social Security Disability.  Jason Reid will continue with his excellent representation of clients in Criminal Defense and DUI matters. Our principle areas of practice also include Personal Injury, Auto Accidents, Family Law, and Immigration.

Tags: carlson, meissner, hart, hayslett, cromley, reid, bradenton, workers comp, social security, crimminal defense
Posted in Announcements
Apr  13,  2014
By maryann
Terri Cromley and Carlson, Meissner, Hart & Hayslett love the Marauders. Terri Cromley and Carlson, Meissner, Hart & Hayslett love the Marauders.

Terri Cromley, a partner in the Law Offices of Carlson, Meissner, Hart & Hayslett, loves the Bradenton Marauders. Terri also loves ribs, and she, therefore, was at the Marauders tent at Rib Fest this Saturday.

Terri Cromley works with individuals in need of legal assistance with Social Security Disability cases and Workers' Compensation claims. Jason Reid, also with the Bradenton office of Carlson, Meissner, Hart & Hayslett, helps people with all types of Criminal Defense and DUI Defense matters.

A great time was had by all as fans stopped by to say hello and find out about all of the exciting events the Marauders have planned for the Florida State League All-Star game on June 14th.

You can nominate an "All-Star Among Us" for recognition at the ALL-Star game.  Go Marauders and Go Ribs!

Tags: attorneys-lawyers-blog-clearwater:attorneys; lawyers; blog; clearwater,criminal-defense-attorney:criminal defense attorney,criminal-defense-lawyer:criminal defense lawyer,dui:dui,social-security:social security,terri-cromley:Terri Cromley,workers-compensation:workers compensation
Posted in announcements:Announcements,news-and-media:News and Media
Terri Cromley, a partner in the Law Offices of Carlson, Meissner, Hart & Hayslett, loves the Bradenton Marauders.
Apr  12,  2014
By maryann
Rocky Billeter, Jake and Jack Donaldson (sons of attorney Matt Donaldson) are ready to hand out ice cream. Rocky Billeter, Jake and Jack Donaldson (sons of attorney Matt Donaldson) are ready to hand out ice cream.
The Good Humor Ice Cream truck was filled with all sorts of Good Humor Ice Cream and was given to all the attendees at the 4th Annual Taste of Pasco today. Rocky Billiter, Matt Donaldson and his two sons Jake and Jack, and Todd Garrett were handing out the ice cream. Matt Donaldson, an attorney with the Spring Hill Law Office of Carlson, Meissner, Hart & Hayslett was present to answer any legal questions.

This fourth annual Taste of Pasco was hosted by Leadership Pasco Class of 2014 on April 12, 2014 from 4pm – 7pm at the Rotary Pavilion at the Concourse in Land O' Lakes. 15325 Alric Pottberg Rd. , Shady Hills, FL 34610. Proceeds will benefit the Runaway Alternatives Project and the West Pasco Pregnancy Center.

Information about the Good Humor Ice Cream Truck:

1969 Ford Good Humor Ice cream Truck

During the summer, the ringing of the bell along streets in many American towns and cities meant one thing--the Good Humor Ice Cream Truck. It all began in 1920, when Ohio ice cream parlor owner Harry Burt followed his son’s suggestion and put chocolate coated ice cream on a stick. Before long, Burt had a fleet of a dozen trucks making door-to-door deliveries of his new Good Humor ice cream products.
The fleet of Good Humor trucks saw rapid expansion during the 1950’s and 1960’s. One of the trucks that were part of that explosive growth period was this 1969 Ford ice cream truck, which was originally placed in service delivering Good Humor Ice Cream to neighborhoods in Boston, Massachusetts. When the Good Humor Company stopped using trucks to sell ice cream in 1978, the distributor restored and warehoused this rare surviving vehicle. It was purchased years later by a resident of Hull, Massachusetts whose original intention was to let his son start a business. The son soon lost interest, and the truck was used to cater events for several summer seasons. The last event he catered from the vehicle was associated with the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston.Paul Meissner purchased this vehicle in 2004 and it has appeared ever since at various fund raising and charitable events. The Law Firm of Carlson & Meissner donates all of the ice cream distributed at these events.
Tags: attorneys-lawyers-blog-clearwater:attorneys; lawyers; blog; clearwater,good-humor-ice-cream-truck-2:Good Humor Ice Cream truck,new-port-richey:new port richey,taste-of-pasco:Taste of Pasco
Posted in
The Good Humor Ice Cream truck was filled with all sorts of Good Humor Ice Cream and was given to all the attendees at the 4th Annual Taste of Passco today. Rocky Billiter, Matt Donaldson and his two sons Jake and Jack, Andrew Spence and Todd Garrett were handing out the ice cream.
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