Personal Injury Claims Against the Government

I’m Mitchell Panter with the Law firm of Panter, Panter, & Sampedro and I want to talk to you about something that’s called Sovereign Immunity. What this means is that when you’re involved in a case involving a sovereign and a sovereign is such things as the police, the city, the school board a municipal bus. when you’re involved in an accident with one of these entities, there are certain limitations that exist and you need to know about them. If a police officer does wrong, if a school bus driver does wrong, if you’re walking across a street that’s owned by the city or the government, if you’re injured while on property owned by the city or government, there are limitations. We’ve worked with those limitations for the past 25 years and we know about them. you can recover up to $200,000 per accident without what’s called a claim’s bill. A claim’s bill is a more difficult procedure, which we’ve had an opportunity to undertake and work with, but it actually requires the passing of legislation. So it’s a very difficult process. You need to know also that attorney fees are limited when you have a case against a sovereign immunity so many lawyers will not take these type of cases. I’ve been a lawyer for 30 years and together with my brother and partner Brett Panter, and David Sampedro, we’ve worked for 25 years against many municipalities. We’ve pursued cases against them and we’ve obtained good results. You need to know who’s handling your case. Brett Panter, Mitchell Panter and David Sampedro are board certified civil trial lawyers, which means we have the extra skills and experience to handle these types of cases. This is what we do day in and day out. I encourage you to call us if you have a question let us talk to you about your case free of charge. Panter, Panter & Sampedro is a law firm dedicated to protecting Florida’s families.

How is social media used as evidence in personal injury claims?

I’m Mitchell Panter from the law firm of Panter, Panter & Sampedro. I want to talk to you about social media and all of the implications it has on all of our current lawsuits. There’s not a lawsuit that goes by or a case that goes by where we’re not asked about social media, either from the plaintiff or the defendant, the person that’s being sued. It is really important that you check your social media account prior to filing a lawsuit. It’s really important to speak with your lawyer about what goes on with your social media account. Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram or any other form of social media both sides of your case will be looking at it. We recently had a case where one of the issues was the injuries sustained by the plaintiff, the person that was injured and on her social media account she posted pictures of her lounging around in a bathing suit and otherwise in positions and movements that appeared to be there was no real injuries. Yet, the realities of the case showed that she was injured, that she did have scarring, that she did have problems, difficulties lifting, moving and doing activities of daily living. But, when the defense got on to her social media account and uncovered pictures of her in a bikini, pictures of her activities, pictures of her doing things that one wouldn’t expect her to do having sustained the injuries, it sort of put a value of the case a little bit less than what it should have been. Had this been disclosed to us or had we had the opportunity to tell her don’t post these types of activities, it would have been a much better result. What we do in our cases is we send letters to clients immediately from the beginning from the case telling them to be cautious of what you do on social media. There’s nothing wrong with living your life and continuing to enjoy it and spread the knowledge that you’re having a good time with people, but just limit that. Speak to your lawyer before you have an opportunity to present the case, to present the facts. Make sure that facts that you’re presenting match up with the realities of your life and social media. If you have any questions about the use of social media or how it will affect your case, ask your lawyer. I know that for us at Panter, Panter & Sampedro, we take the time, the effort to speak with our clients about this really important issue and it’s only going to get more important. If you have a question, call us, we’ll be happy to help you.

Surprising Facts about Drowning that you need to know about.

The second leading cause of accidental death for children, ages 1-14 after car crashed is drowning. Most of the time it’s a lapse in adult supervision. The single most important factor to prevent drowning is adult supervision. Almost one half of all children who drown are within earshot of an adult. The reality of how drowning occurs is much different from what we see on television, with loud splashing and calls for help, it’s actually deceptively quiet. There are 750 children that are drowned yearly, most of which are preventable. The physiological effects of drowning is much different than we expect. Their mouths are below the surface, they cannot call out for help or wave for help as they have no control over their movements. Signs of drowning are head low in the water, eyes closed, legs not used in a vertical manner, and gasping. There’s typically 30 seconds given to save a drowning victim. Often times drowning does involve negligence and legal claims. Negligence occurs at pools and water parks and pool owners and operators can be liable, becuase of dangerous premises or poor supervision. The point is most drownings can be prevented with proper knowledge and good supervision and knowing the signs of drowning.

Could your sports injury have been avoided?

Sports as we know them can lead to injuries and they can be injuries as the result of negligence. Negligence can occur in ways such as, failure to properly train, inadequate supervision, improper equipment, improper return to play. Making sure the players are hydrated well is the responsibility of the individual and the coach. There are certain elements related to sports related injury. There needs to be a duty, and a breach of that duty, and causation or proving that the breach of the duty led to the injury, and also sustained damages. The bottom line is that most sports injuries can be avoided with proper knowledge from the coaches and athletes as well as the parents.

Who can sue on behalf of a minor in a personal injury lawsuit?

Hi my name is David Sampedro. I’m a board certified civil trial lawyer at Panter, Panter & San Pedro. We handle personal injury cases, wrongful death matters, involving auto accidents, premises liability, medical malpractice cases and often times we’re asked to bring a claim on behalf of a minor, somebody who is under the age of 18 years to bring a claim on their behalf because they’ve been injured as a result of somebody else’s or another company’s negligence or irresponsibility. What are the circumstances that you can bring a claim and who can bring a claim on behalf of a minor and what do you have to do at the conclusion of the case, and I’m going to try and address a couple of those issues. Well, a minor does not have the ability or what they call a legal standing to bring claim on their own. Therefore they need to have either a natural guardian such a parent or a guardian that is appointed by the court if a parent is not able or willing to so, to bring a case on their behalf. At the conclusion of the case and if the case is resolved, there are some circumstances where even if a lawsuit is not filed, that one needs to go to court to get the settlement approved. Let me talk to you a little bit about those circumstances. If the net tort recovery, that is to say the net recovery to the minor after the deductions for attorney’s fees and costs, medical expenses and things of that nature is less than $15,000, then you do not need to have a guardianship appointed. If it’s in excess of $15,000, that is the minor is going to receive more than $15,000 then the court than the court needs to approve the settlement and a guardianship needs to be appointed as well, and the reason for that is to protect the minor to make sure that the funds are received are used on behalf of and in the best interest of the minor and that the funds are not used for some type of inappropriate use whether it’s intentional or unintentional. So, it’s really done to protect the minor from everybody. In situations that the settlement is in excess, as I said of $15,000 in settlement proceeds, the court has a discretion point, it’s called the guardian ad litem, hat is an independent person that is appointed to, by the court, to say whether the settlement is in the best interest of the minor. In situations, that the settlement, that the gross settlement, is in excess of $50,000, in other words, if the total gross proceeds of the lawsuit are in excess of $50000, then the court requires a guardian ad litem, again an independent person who is appointed by the court to take a look at the facts of a lawsuit, the injuries, all of the things that were in favor of the lawsuit and all of the negatives of the lawsuit, to make sure that the settlement and the outcome was in the best interest of the minor as well. There are some things one can do to avoid these additional expenses, because quite frankly most of these guardianships do require additional time and expenses with court, a separate attorney, in some circumstances may have to be hired and there different ways to be creative to try to avoid this in a legal way, with court approval, but, if the minor receives the funds after their 18th birthday or some circumstances you may be able to avoid some of these expenses. Thank you for your time and have a great one.

Can You Sue for Emotional Distress in Florida?

Hi my name is David Sampedro. I’m a board certified civil trial attorney at Panter Panter & Sampedro and we handle cases involving negligence and wrongful death matters, concerning automobile accidents, premises liability, medical malpractice cases. Often times we receive, phone calls, regarding emotional distress cases, or emotional distress claims, individuals who want to make a claim for emotional distress. Let’s talk about those contexts. Because, the courts typically do not favor those types of claims they look at them with some suspicion and they do try to make it relatively difficult to make a claim. The first type of emotional distress claim we will call or the law calls intentional infliction of emotional distress, and the fact is that these were the first types of emotional distress types of cases that were recognized, by courts. These are very very limited in sort-of circumstances and really are held under the most types of outrageous conduct and again it goes to intentional behavior where somebody intentionally tries to go out and cause somebody emotional distress and there are some very minor circumstances where you can make that type of claim. The second one is called the negligent infliction of emotional distress and courts all over the United States, and in particular, Florida have really grappled with this issue for a long time and while they recognize that there are some circumstances where somebody might have emotional distress as a result of another person’s negligence, the courts also, um, try to avoid, um, what they believe could wind up being frivolous lawsuits or speculative damages, um, they’ve really tried to limit the context that these types of cases can be brought . Oftentimes where you’ll hear about these cases is where somebody might witness the death of a loved one as a result of someone else’s negligence. So, where you may not be involved directly in the accident, uh, for example, there’s a very famous case where a mother saw her young child crossing the street, and uh, was run over and killed before her very own eyes by a negligent driver. Obviously, we’re all going to recognize that under that circumstance I am sure that the mother had some significant emotional distress but that’s the type of context that we typically see it. We also see it sometimes in the situation where spouses might be injured as a result of somebody else’s negligence and the other spouse witnesses that type of injury to their loved one. So there’s a lot of factors to consider before you bring these types of cases; you have to have a close relationship, it has to be a spouse in Florida recognizes it, it has to be, it definitely has to be a legal spouse. In other jurisdictions such as New Jersey, I know that it won’t, um, necessarily require them to be married but there still needs to be a close relationship. Florida requires you to have a physical impact in addition to having emotional distress. They want to make sure that you sustained a physical impact and this is one of the ways that they try to curtail or eliminate what they believe to speculative or frivolous lawsuits. Other jurisdictions have this as well and some jurisdictions recognize a very minimal threshold for an impact. There are some jurisdictions that recognize the inhalation of smoke to be a sufficient impact. Florida is a little bit more strict and makes it a little more difficult. The third aspect of emotional distress cases is really what they call pain and suffering and that is when you, yourself were injured and hurt. Obviously there has been an impact; there’s been an injury, there’s been a manifestation of those injuries as well but you were the person who was injured, you were the direct victim of negligence and of course under those circumstances in addition to the pain and suffering, discomfort, mental anguish that you can bring them an emotional distress emotional anguish part is certainly a component. So, these are all things to consider and take into account when you are looking into and seeing whether you can make a claim for your emotional injuries.

¿Usted puede demandar por angustia emocional en Florida?

Buenas mi nombre es David Sampedro, yo soy un abogado en el bufete de Panter Panter y Sampedro. Nosotros tomamos casos de negligencia contra otra persona o compañías que le han causado daño a un individuo. Muchas veces nosotros recibimos llamadas averiguando si uno puede presentar una reclamación por los daños emocional que uno ha sufrido debido de las acciones de otro y vamos a hablar un poco de eso y hablar de las circunstancias donde uno puede presentar esas reclamaciones. Yo creo que podemos hablar de tres diferentes casos o circunstancias de daños emocional. La primera es reconociendo los daños por las angustias emocional intencional, eso la verdad que son algunas circunstancias que está reservado por cierta conducta indignada. Son muy pocas las razones que la corte le da que reconoce el conducto indignado así para los daños que uno puede recibir por la conducta intencional. La segunda es los daños de la angustia emocional debido de la negligencia de otro, y eso también es un poco difícil. Típicamente la circunstancia donde esto se presenta es cuando uno no está dañado físicamente debido a la negligencia de otro pero puede ser testigo a un evento que le causa mucho daño. Muchas veces la ley lo reconoce en estas circunstancias y los casos que se hablan son típicamente casos cuando uno quizás ha visto un ser querido involucrado en un accidente y eso le causa algún daño. Tiene que ser testigo personal de la situación donde la negligencia ocurrió. Hay un caso bastante famoso donde una señora estaba viendo la niña de ella cruzar la calle y la niña fue arrollada y falleció debido de la negligencia del conductor del automóvil y la mama vio y fue testigo al accidente. Obviamente nosotros podemos reconocer que esto le puede causar mucha angustia emocional a la mama por su puesto. Algunos estados reconoce esos daños y otros no los reconocen, la razón por eso que la ley quiere prevenir daños que son especatadulismo o daños que puede ser difícil de aprobar, tiene uno que tener una relación bastante cercana al fallecido y tienes que ser testigo. La mayoría de las veces muchos de los estados, incluyendo el estado de la Florida dice que uno tiene que recibir algún impacto físico del evento para poder reconocer y recibir daños emocional. Algún otro estado reconoce también el impacto físico pero dice que puede ser algo muy mínimo, por ejemplo algunos estados dicen que nada mas el humo de un fuego puede ser suficiente para resultar en ese impacto. La tercera y última circunstancia es cuando uno mismo obviamente está involucrado en el accidente y uno mismo es que fue lesionado y recibe daños físicos y además de eso daños físicos obviamente uno tiene dolor, sufrimiento y también le puede causar daños emocional bajo de esas circunstancias y por supuesto uno puede recibir y tratar de estar compensado por los daños emocionales bajo estas ciertas circunstancias. O sea estas son todas las cosas que uno debe considerar cuando está trayendo un caso y es algo que uno debe hablar con un abogado. Muchísimas gracias.

How do you expedite cases for seriously ill or elderly individuals?

I’m Brett Panter of the personal injury and medical malpractice law firm of Panter, Panter & Sampedro. We often encounter difficulties with clients who are either very ill or elderly and we have an obligation to expedite those cases and there’s a way and a manner in which we do that. We follow the rules of procedure. One is Rule 1.200 of civil procedure and the other one is Florida statute 415 Florida statute so I’m going to explain what those statutes do as a tool for us to expedite when necessary. The Florida Statute I refer to as 415 is a civil action statute involving elderly patients and allows for a speedy trial but it must be requested by your lawyer so we often go to the judges and ask that they use this rule to expedite the trial. What the rule says in simple language is that a civil action In which a person over the age of 65 is a party such party may move the court to advance to trial on the docket the presiding judge after considering the age and health of the party may advance the trial on the docket the motion may be filed at any time after we serve your initial complaint. So when we have elderly client or clients that are catastrophically injured we use this rule we go in front of the judges in our courts and ask the judge to move the trial faster because if we don’t have speedy justice, we may have no justice at all. We’re very well aware of that. The second part of the rule that I cited at the beginning was rule 1.200 and that is simply rule of case management and with that rule we’re allowed to go to the court and ask the judge do multiple things that are going to help move your case faster. Some of those things are to limit a schedule, order and expedite discovery which is to order the lawyers in the case to move the case fast to agree to set depositions without delay because as we have learned over the years the defense, the other side of this coin, it’s always in their best interest to delay and defer these cases. It’s our interest on behalf of our clients to move them as quickly as possible and the rules allow for it if you’re aware of the rules. We are aware of them and use the rules. The other thing is a judge is allowed to consider the possibility of getting admissions of fact so we try to get issues stipulated to as best we can. We are able to ask the court to consider advance rulings to move the case along faster. We get a schedule of disclosure of expert witnesses so the defense can’t hide. We don’t want to hide. We want to show them who our experts are in order to get it earlier trial date to get earlier and good and fair and timely resolution of your case because as I said time is of the essence. So we at the firm of Panter, Panter, & Sampedro are very aware of the rules that allow us to function within the system to move your case faster than otherwise it would may move without knowing these rules.

Tell Congress to Protect Your Right to Safe Medical Care

I’m Brett Panter from the personal injury in medical malpractice law firm of Panter, Panter & Sampedro. Today I’m here to talk to you about a little bit of politics in particular the House of Representatives Bill 1215. This bill is referred to as protecting access to care Act 2017. It’s being brought on a federal level and what the bill does is everything but protect access to medical care and affordable healthcare. The bill is a guise and what I mean by that is its name does not accurately reflect what it does. This bill if enacted on the federal level would force all of the States including Florida to apply federal law and the federal law that attempted to be imposed by this terrible bill which will affect all of your rights in a terrible way when and if you or your family are ever injured a result as a result of medical negligence will attempt to cap non-economic damages and even if your states such as Florida has determine the captain on economic damages are unconstitutional this bill will attempt to trump that and overturn that well established law. The bill also serves to restrict the time limits in which you can bring your action which is often referred to or commonly referred to as a statue of limitations so it will take away cases from people that have legitimate cases. The bill also grants immunity to healthcare providers who prescribe a drug or device that’s approved by the FDA. Absolute immunity to those people. The entire bill serves to rig the system to protect healthcare providers to protect hospitals in such an unconstitutional way that is so unfair. Our firm has already written letters to all of our clients and the purpose of this video is to make you aware of HR 1215 and to urge your congressman any politicians that you know to vote no for this. As of June 28th 2017 this bill is still floating in the halls of Congress. It has yet to be seen by the Senate of the United States but if this bill is passed when and if your family is injured as a result of medical negligence your rights will be severely curtailed and I as a lawyer who has dedicated my life to protecting individuals to fighting for justice for people who are harmed by the negligence of urge you to to become aware of HR 1215 and to seek out the people who are responsible for this or may be responsible for this such as your congressman and all the politicians you know and urge them to vote no for this. You can see more about this statute on our website and simply on the internet. I urge you to do what you can as a concerned citizen to get the vote to be no for this terrible and unfair piece of legislation.