Fraud Hurts Us All

Dear Friends and Clients:

I wanted to take this opportunity to bring to your attention that recently, four local personal injury attorneys have been charged criminally for engaging in kickback schemes with tow truck drivers, tow yards and medical providers. Simply put, it is alleged that these attorneys were being paid cash for new cases, which is a clear violation of Florida’s criminal statutes. Even though the names and photos of these attorneys have been published by the Sun-Sentinel, I have decided not to name them out of respect for their families. Although these specific attorneys are innocent until proven guilty, those of us who do this for a living have known for years that these kickback schemes have been ongoing.

In fact, as a young attorney over 20 years ago, I met with a local chiropractor for lunch and he offered me $2,000 cash for each client that I referred to his clinic for treatment. Think about that for a moment. This was the first time I had met this chiropractor but he felt completely comfortable in soliciting me to commit a crime. Without hesitation, I rejected his offer and ended the lunch early. I know I will be accused of sounding self-righteous but I have always advocated that all ‘honest’ plaintiff’s attorneys have a duty to speak out when fraud is being committed. A fraud of this nature further tarnishes the reputation of injury attorneys and as we know, our reputations as a whole are already tarnished.

Other types of auto insurance fraud hurt consumers in the form of higher insurance premiums. Estimates vary greatly but the Coalition for Insurance Fraud puts the cost of fraudulent claims in the range of $80 billion dollars annually. While I think that is an inflated number presented by a group that is friendly to the insurance industry, once again, there is no denying that fraud exists and that it increases our insurance premiums. As I have always done, I am advising all clients and friends to report any incidences of attorney fraud. If you are in an accident and someone in a tow truck, tow yard or emergency room approaches you with an attorney referral, they may be engaging in a crime. If someone contacts you without your permission–either on your cell phone or home telephone line–and attempts to refer you to a lawyer, they are likely working with a lawyer who is aware of their actions. This constitutes a clear violation of the Florida Bar rules and may also be a crime.

Finally, choose your attorney wisely because it will likely mean the difference between a bad or good settlement amount. Those injury attorneys who illegally solicit patients often work on a high volume/low margin business model. They don’t care if they don’t obtain just compensation for you because they have so many cases that they earn a profit on turnover and sheer volume. Simply put, this means they will not fight for you on those cases where you deserve a higher settlement. I hope all of you have recovered from the recent storm. If you need anything at all, please do not hesitate to contact me at the office. (954) 356-0006.

Gary T. Lazarus, Esq.
1625 North Commerce Parkway
Weston, Florida 33326
(954) 356-0006
www.Lazaruslaw.us

Florida Auto Accident Attorneys

Types of Auto Insurance Coverage – Florida Auto Accident Attorneys

Insurance! Thank goodness for insurance, many people have said when they experience a fire, flood, accident, or sickness. It is good to have insurance, but it can be expensive! And how do you know if you have enough? Or maybe you have too much? I remember the scene in “Groundhog Day” when Bill Murray buys every kind of insurance their is from his old classmate, including “optional death and dismemberment” coverage. One of those things you don’t want to think about.

Getting a handle on your insurance situation begins with understanding all the different coverage and policy options are, and we’re going to deal only with motor-vehicle-related insurance in this article. In the future we will provide some information for boats.

First, what is required? This is from the State of Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles:  “The Florida Motor Vehicle No-Fault Law, requires all owner/registrants of a motor vehicle with four wheels or more to carry a minimum of $10,000 of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and $10,000 of property damage liability (PDL) if you own a motor vehicle in Florida. Florida law requires you to maintain PIP/PDL insurance continuously throughout the licensing and registration period.” More information here.

So, that being said, get it and keep it, as a minimum. Now, anything else beyond that, we cannot advise you about because we are not licensed insurance agents. We are accident attorneys. However, we can share a very interesting info-graphic from the Insurance Information Institute:

Florida Auto Accident Attorneys

Find an insurance agent you can trust, someone who is recommended by a friend or family member. We live in an online world, but we suggest meeting with an agent in person, much the way we like to sit down and talk with our clients. It’s easier to ask questions and have complicated subjects explained. Buy the coverage that’s right for you.

If you are involved in an accident, and you have been injured, please reach out to us at 954-356-0006 and we will be happy to arrange a confidential consultation. You rights are our primary concern.

Florida Accident Attorneys

Is Your License Suspended? You Better Check – Auto Accident Attorneys

Most  law enforcement agencies in south Florida will place you under arrest and take you to jail if you are driving with a suspended or revokedFlorida Auto Accident Attorneys driver’s license. “Well, that certainly doesn’t apply to me,” you say. Really? Are you sure? There are many things that can pop up to cause a suspension, and you may not be aware of it.

We received a frantic call a few years ago from a friend who forgot to pay some tickets and his license was suspended. He went to jail! So what can you do if you’re just not sure if you’re in the clear or you have an issue? Go online!

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles has a page on their website where you can check your license. All you have to do is click here and enter your DL number. If it shows as suspended, or if there are any other problems, you’ll want to resolve them immediately. For a general resolution page, click here.

We are not traffic ticket attorneys, but we like to provide information to help people stay safe and on the right side of the law. Our area involves people who been involved in accidents that resulted in serious injuries and/or damage to property. We have been helping victims receive compensation from negligent persons or entities for over 25 years and we have developed a track record for getting results. Please call us at 954-356-0006 if you have been involved in an car, truck, motorcycle, or public transportation accident. W are here to help.

Fort Lauderdale Accident Attorneys

Getting Hit by an Uninsured Driver – Fort Lauderdale Accident Attorneys

Florida ranks very high in some rather dubious categories related to safety on our roads and highways, including the face that we are the most dangerous state for motorcyclists. The Sunshine State is also ranked very high (#2) for the number of uninsured motorists. According to the Insurance Information Institute the worst 10 states for uninsured motorists are:

Oklahoma 25.9%
Florida 23.8%
Mississippi 22.9%
New Mexico 21.6%
Michigan 21.1%
Tennessee 20.1%
Alabama 19.6%
Rhode Island 17.1%
Colorado 16.2%
Washington 16.1

Unfortunately that means if you are hit by another motorist, there is a one-in-four chance it will be an uninsured motorist. So, what do you do?

First, one thing to be aware of is there are many motorists who will show “proof” of insurance in the form of an identification card or some other paper that refers to an outdated, expired, or terminated insurance policy. This happens quite often.

Fort Lauderdale Accident AttorneysIf there are any injuries at all or damage is more than minimal, you’ll want to call an experienced accident attorney. Verifying insurance coverage or lack of coverage is something an attorney can do properly. You may have someone tell you that if the other driver has no insurance, there is nothing you can do but that is absolutely not true. Many times there are other avenues and once again an attorney understands how to approach these situations.

Fort Lauderdale Accident Attorneys

Understanding the law and how to see that your rights are protected and you receive compensation for your injuries and damage is best handled by someone who has experience. The accident attorneys at Lazarus and Lazarus have dealt with hundreds of cases involving uninsured motorists and we know how to handle these cases. Please feel free to call us at 954-356-0006 and we will be happy to schedule a consultation at your convenience.

pharmacy errors

Do a Pharmacy Check-Up for Your Safety – Pharmacy Errors

Today’s pharmacies are busy places. Thousands of incoming orders and outgoing medications, it’s difficult to find data on what the exact volume is. But if you’ve been to your local pharmacy recently, you know it’s a lot.

Some states have proposed limiting the number of prescriptions that can be filled per pharmacist, but there is little control over that type of system. Reality is that most prescription orders are actually filled by the technicians and “verified” by the pharmacist. Most patients are at the mercy of “the system” which includes all your information being kept in a computer database, and this is where you can take steps to at least make sure they have accurate information.

It’s probably not a good idea to use more than one pharmacy for your medications. The reason is that pharmacy computer where you order your medications keeps a list of all your medications and this way they are able to check for the potential for adverse reactions. If you are frequenting pharmacies that data is probably not shared.

So, many health care specialists recommend you do a pharmacy check-up at least twice a year. This means setting aside some time to ask your pharmacist to verify the information in their computer system as accurate and up-to-date. You should always have a list of exactly what medications you are taking and what the dosage is. Verify all this with your pharmacist. When anything changes, let them know immediately.

If you stop taking a particular medication, you should notify your pharmacist so they can remove it as being a “current” medication. We are at the mercy of the system in many respects, so we have to work with it and do our best to make sure the information is accurate.

Every time you drop off your prescriptions:

• Tell your pharmacist all the medications and over-the-counter drugs you take – especially those vitamins and herbal remedies purchased at health food or grocery stores, nutrition or smoothie shops. Your pharmacist has references that identify potential drug interactions.
• Confirm that the computer has your current prescription benefit information, allergies and/or drug intolerances, and phone number.
• Find out how many refills you can get. Make sure that your physician has provided enough refills until your next visit. Prescriptions and refills are only valid for one year.

Each time you pick up your prescriptions:

• Confirm the drug is correct at the pharmacy counter. Compare the instructions given by your physician to the drug name on the pharmacy label.
• Open the bottle and look at the medications to confirm that the medications are imprinted with the correct drug name and strength. If there is no imprint, ask the pharmacist technician or the pharmacist to show you the bottle from which the medication was dispensed for comparison. Also learn what your medications look like if you take them over a period of time.
• Liquids usually have a unique scent. Learn to recognize your liquid medications by smell.
• Confirm the dosage is correct. Compare the instructions given by your physician to the instructions on the pharmacy label.
• Pediatric medications are at high risk for dosage errors. Most drugs’ dosages are based on weight. Confirm your child’s medication dose with your child’s doctor and/or pharmacist.

Every patient should try to play a role in the system by being inquisitive. Ask questions and verify everything. If you feel confused and don’t believe you can adequately do these things, ask for help. If a pharmacist or pharmacy tech won’t give you the time to properly explain things to you, ask the store manager. If you’re not satisfied, you may want to try a different pharmacy. And you can always ask your doctor for help, or the staff.

No system is perfect, but today’s prescription medication process is so stressed with high volume and multiple drugs that mistakes are common. Working with patients who are victims of pharmacy errors has been a special area of focus for our law practice for many years. It is a complex area and requires extensive knowledge of drugs and procedures used by physicians and pharmacies. If you believe you may have been made sick because of a pharmacy error, you should give us a call and tell us your circumstances. We are here to help. 954-356-0006.

Why You Should Consider Lazarus and Lazarus for Your Auto Accident Injury Case

You’ve been injured in an automobile accident in south Florida, or you’ve been hurt in some other incident where someone else may be at fault. What do you do?Personal Injury Attorney You’ll have questions about medical bills, insurance, and how to get help for your lost time from work. You’ll want to know your rights. Everyone tells you to call an attorney, and they are correct. But who?

Here are some staggering numbers: In 1980, Florida had 27,000 lawyers. Since 2000, five new law schools have opened in Florida and the number of lawyers in the state has increased from 60,900 to 96,511!

Fast Fact: If you spent 8 hours a day calling 96,511 lawyers and spent 10 minutes on each call, it would take 5 1/2 years to call them all.

So let’s narrow things down. You’ll want to have some criteria for choosing an attorney.

You’ll want someone who is in the area, who is experienced handling personal injury cases, and who has positive reviews from other clients. Even then, you will have a great number of attorneys to consider. We would like to tell you a little about our firm, and why we would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you and discuss your options. Some of the important things to consider when choosing a personal injury attorney:

Experience – Our firm was founded in 1992, and our practice has been focused on helping south Floridians who are injured since the start. We’re a small firm, and we only take cases when we know that we can really help. This is a family law firm, and you will meet with Gary or Arleen Lazarus, you will not be assigned an attorney fresh from law school who doesn’t have much experience.

Communication – We are with you every step. When you reach out for information about your case you will be treated with courtesy and respect and you’ll be told the exact status of your case. We don’t sugar-coat things, we tell you the truth. We don’t want to waste your time and drag things out.

Reputation – We have established a sterling reputation for protecting the rights of our clients, and delivering on the commitments we make to them. We work hard to deliver the maximum amount of compensation for damage, injuries, pain, and suffering. Our reviews across all sources are superior. including AVVO, the most trusted source for attorney recommendations and information.

Fort Lauderdale Personal Injury Attorney

Please call us at 954-356-0006 if you have any questions, and thank you.

 

 

Premises Liability

Transitory Foreign Substances – Premises Liability

Have you ever had to deal with a transitory foreign substance? It sounds like something quite sinister, doesn’t it? Well, before you Google what that is we’ll tell you.

Transitory means (1) not lasting, enduring, permanent, or eternal. (2) lasting only a short time; brief; short-lived; temporary.

Foreign means (in premise liability cases) (1) not being from that area.

Substance for this discussion is, a substance. It can be anything. Grape jelly, broken glass, a golf ball.

Premises Liability refers to the responsibility of a property owner to maintain a safe environment for the public and employees.

It seems that lawyers have a language of their own, but there is good reason. Words are important in matters related to the law. When dealing with serious situations words must be specific. For example: If a person is shopping in a store and slips on a splotch of grape jelly, falls, and dislocates their back, this isn’t just another “slip and fall” case where the victim is looking to get a fast settlement. This is more likely, in the cases we handle, a serious situation involving a healthy person being permanently injured due to a lack of due care by a business or premises owner, because a transitory foreign substance caused a very serious accident.

We believe that when an injured person comes to us with a solid explanation and believable story explaining how they were injured, that person deserves to be listened to and believed. It is then our job to investigate the circumstances, extent of injury, and possible negligence and liability involved. It might be grape jelly or it might be a beam falling from the ceiling in a theater, we are here to listen and help.

The Florida statute involving “premises liability for transitory foreign substances in a business establishment” is 768.0755 and we know it well. Your rights are our primary concern, and if you are injured due to someone else’s carelessness you can trust us to listen to you and to believe you. Reach out to us at 954-356-0006 and we will arrange a complimentary consultation at your convenience.

 

Long Term Disability Cases – Fort Lauderdale Accident Attorneys

Many people have the conception of motor vehicle accident injuries as going like this: You get in an accident, you go to the hospital, you get Fort Lauderdale Accident Attorneysbetter and go home, you sue the other driver and get a lot of money so you can go on vacations and have nice things for a long time. That would be nice, but real accidents and their consequences don’t work like that.

Most serious accidents cause injuries that are not treated with a band-aid and a couple pain pills. Often they require serious medical treatment and long periods of rehabilitation, sometimes for the rest of the victim’s life.

If you read our blog, you know we like to put things in perspective by using everyday topics and then we employ some principles of science to make differences between one situation and another clear.

Football season is beginning, and soon we’ll be hearing reports about this player or that being sidelined with injuries. It’s part of the game. Here’s an example of how many injuries occur: An offensive player is running with the ball, and a defensive player crashes into him at full speed. The defensive player, who runs the 40-yard dash in about 4.5 seconds, will produce 1600 pounds of force! Hopefully the runner’s protective pads will absorb much of the force, but his body will take a pounding.

Using the same formula (Newton’s Second Law of Motion) for cars, the potential force absorbed by a human body can be as much as 300,000 pounds of force! Injuries in car collisions can be devastating.

Fort Lauderdale Accident AttorneysFort Lauderdale Accident Attorneys

When someone is the victim of an accident that results in long-term or even permanent disability, one needs to be very careful about approaching the subject of a settlement. What may seem to be a large amount of money today is actually not nearly enough to take care of a person well into the future. This is where an experienced personal injury attorney is so important. Over the years we have been contacted by many victims who rushed to a settlement, only to realize years later that they have no more money.

The Law Firm of Lazarus and Lazarus has the experience to understand traumatic injuries and how they can persist. Often there are complications from an initial injury that only come to be known as a victim ages. In more than 25 years we have seen every conceivable situation, and we insist that our clients are cared for today and in the long run. We are pleased to meet with you at your convenience and to reach us please call 954-356-0006 and ask for Gary or Arleen Lazarus. Your rights are our primary concern.

 

 

Florida Auto Accident Attorneys

Florida’s Move Over Law Means….Move Over! Florida Accident Lawyers

Most people don’t have a true understanding of how fast cars are traveling on the highways because they’re traveling along with everyone else. If you have ever had a breakdown and exited your car while other cars are flying by at 70 miles-per-hour, then you know. It’s fast! And it’s dangerous.

Police officers, paramedics, tow truck drivers, and others who respond to situations on the highways are often positioned very near the speeding traffic in order to do their jobs and they are in harm’s way. Because of this all 50 states have passed laws requiring that drivers approach emergency and service vehicles on the side of the road with caution, slower speed, and also requires that they “move over.”

In Florida, Statute 316.126 Title: Operation of vehicles and actions of pedestrians on approach of an authorized emergency, sanitation, or utility service vehicle includes the requirement to use caution and move over. Summary: State law requires drivers to reduce speed to 20 mph less than the posted speed limit and, if safe to do so, vacate the lane closest to stationary emergency vehicles, including towing and recovery vehicles, when traveling in the same direction. If such movement cannot be safely accomplished, the driver shall reduce speed.


A Fallen Officer’s Story
Deputy Sheriff Ryan Christopher Seguin Broward County Sheriff’s Office, Florida was struck and killed Feb. 15, ’06, by the driver of a vehicle as he and his partner made a traffic stop on Interstate 595 in Broward County, Florida. He was 23 years old.

 

 

Truck Accident Attorneys

Tractor Trailer Side Guards May Reduce Highway Deaths

Truck Accident AttorneysThe reason tractor trailer accidents are so devastating is mostly due to the fact that they are just so large. When a car is hit by a large truck, it’s like getting hit by 20 or thirty cars. The force is immense, and often so are the injuries.

For many years, regulations have required rear guards on the trailers of big trucks to prevent cars coming from the rear from “going under” the truck. Injuries from these types of collisions are particularly severe for obvious reasons. There have not been any regulations for side guards, however, and that may be changing.

A recent test by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety was performed and results were promising. Because changing lanes is often the spark that causes serious crashes, drivers should always make sure there is nothing in the lane they’re changing to. If another car is in the way, that can be a dangerous situation. But if it is a tractor trailer, it’s quite another. At this time there is debate about the cost and safety outcomes for mandatory side guards, so future testing will be needed. Eventually, we hope the side guards are proven to be a significant improvement and they are installed on all trucks.

Florida Truck Accident Attorneys

Of the 1,542 deaths of passenger vehicle occupants in crashes with tractor-trailers in 2015, 301 involved the side of a tractor-trailer, compared with 292 that involved the rear.

Truck crashes involve complex forensic investigations and special expertise. The Law Firm of Lazarus and Lazarus has been working with the victims of serious truck crashes for over 25 years and we have the ability and the intensity to pursue justice and adequate compensation for victims of serious truck accidents. Please reach out to us at 954-356-0006 and we will arrange a confidential consultation.