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Electrical safety, is your home or office up to code?

Homeowners and business owners, it’s time for an electrical safety audit! The Electrical Safety Foundation International (EFSI) promotes electrical safety in the home, school and workplace. They have an annual campaign on electrical safety every May. In honor of their efforts, we have the following electrical safety tips as suggestions for keeping your home or […]

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Distracted Driving Safety Tips

April is the National Safety Council’s Distracted Driving Awareness Month. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving caused 3,477 deaths in 2015. Any activity that takes your attention from driving is distracting. Some distractions are unavoidable, but most are not. Here are 4 ways to reduced distracted driving: Put the Phone Down. […]

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4 Spring Cleaning and Safety Tips

The busyness of the holiday season is over. Winter is almost over. We are all tired of being cooped up indoors and staring at the same mess around the home. Spring time is a good opportunity to clean house and to make it safer. We have prepared a short list of things to think about […]

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Christmas Tree Safety

A live Christmas tree is a beautiful addition to your holiday decor, but they can be dangerous if not properly cared for! Check out this helpful list that will ensure your tree stays beautiful and safe all season long! A dry tree can be a fire hazard. the minute your tree was cut, it began to […]

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Do I Have to Pay the Insurance Company Back for Med Pay Coverage?

Yes. Your insurance company has a right to paid back for money it pays you under the Med Pay coverage in your policy. This right to reimbursement is called “subrogation.” Subrogation allows one party to make a payment that another party owes, and then later collect that money from the party who originally owed it. […]

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What Kind of Questions do I have to Answer in Discovery?

Discovery is the investigation that takes place before a lawsuit goes to trial. During the discovery phase of a lawsuit, parties gather facts and information about the other party to build their case. Discovery can be written, in the form of interrogatories or request for production, or oral, such as a deposition. The defendant can […]

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What is Med Pay?

Medical Payments Insurance (Med Pay) is insurance that pays medical expenses for you and your passengers who are injured in a car wreck. Med Pay acts as supplemental insurance for car accident injuries. Personal Injury Protection coverage (PIP) only covers 80% of medical bills in Florida. Med Pay insurance can cover the remaining 20% and/or […]

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What Facts Go in a Complaint?

A complaint is the document a plaintiff files with the court at the beginning of the lawsuit. A complaint describes how the defendant injured the plaintiff. Only the most important, basic facts should in a complaint. The purpose of the complaint is not to tell every detail of your story. The purpose of the complaint […]

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How Many Times Do I Have to Give my Deposition?

If you are a plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit, chances are you will have to give a deposition. Depositions happen during the discovery phase of the case. During discovery, the parties to the lawsuit request and gather information from each other. One way that information is gathered is by deposition. A deposition is usually […]

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Take Care of your Loved Ones During the Holidays

It’s National Caregiver’s Month, we love them. Here are 4 tips to make sure your loved ones are getting the best care possible. Residents have a right to be treated with dignity and respect.  Most nursing homes and assisted living facilities do their best to give the highest care possible. However, there are occasional stories of abuse, neglect, […]

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HALLOWEEN SAFETY TIPS

Be careful while trick-or treating. Our little ones are precious and deserve a fun and safe Halloween. Here are some suggestions to keep the kids safe while getting treats around the neighborhood. Be visible — While the kids are walking door to door, they are sharing the road with cars. Make sure drivers can see […]

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If My Car Wreck Happened Out of Town, Will I Have to Travel There for Depositions?

Unfortunately, people get in car wrecks out of town on vacations, family trips, business trips, and the like. The most common court to file a personal injury lawsuit in is the court of the county where the car wreck happened.That court has jurisdiction over the claim because the wreck happened within its boundaries. So what […]

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Tailgate Safely this Football Season

Football season means tailgating. Who doesn’t love to throw a party from the back of their car or truck while waiting for your team’s game to start? The smell of barbecue in a parking lot before game time is as much a part of college football as the band playing the fight song. To make […]

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Why is My Insurance Company Paying My Medical Bills?

If you sustained a personal injury in a car wreck in Florida that was not your fault, you might wonder why your insurance is paying the medical bills. The answer is twofold: PIP and subrogation. PIP (“personal injury protection”) is “no-fault” automobile liability insurance coverage. PIP covers medical expenses regardless of whose fault the crash was. […]

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Alcohol, Drugs, and Personal Injury Cases

Did you know that alcohol and drugs can have an effect on your personal injury case? Florida law says that a person with a personal injury claim cannot recover any damages if: 1) He or she was impaired by drugs or alcohol or had a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or higher; and 2) As […]

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Back to School Safety Tips

School starts back this month. School days bring increased traffic and congestion on the road. Drive safely around schools and be alert to keep children safe. Here are some safety tips for parents, students, and drivers to keep in mind this school year. Safely Drop Children Off — Schools usually have specific rules unique to […]

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FOUR BOATING SAFETY TIPS

Boating is a favorite summer past time. On the Gulf Coast, we enjoy fishing, water skiing, sailing, sight seeing, and many other activities. Following good safety rules ensures that any activity will be a safe and pleasurable experience. Here are four tips for keeping safe on the water. This list is not exhaustive. Always follow Federal, […]

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FORD FOCUS and FORD FIESTA CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT

Do you own or lease a Ford Focus manufactured between 2012 and 2016 or a Ford Fiesta manufactured between 2011 and 2016?  If you answered yes, you may have a claim for damages against Ford. Who is affected? Owners and leasees of defective 2012 to 2016 Ford Focuses and 2011 to 2016 Ford Fiestas. What’s […]

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What is a Personal Injury Claim?

Lawyers advertise for “personal injury” claims on the radio, Internet, newspaper and billboards.  But what is a personal injury claim? By definition, a personal injury is an injury to a person.  It does not include injury to a person’s property (ex. car, house, boat, etc.).  When one person is injured by another person, the person […]

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Four Ways to Prepare for a Hurricane

Hurricane season began June 1 and ends November 30. Locals call our part of the Gulf Coast Hurricane Alley. While we have not had a major hurricane in 12 years, that is no reason not to prepare. Every homeowner should have a plan for what to do. We have prepared a short list that should […]

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Four Tips for a Car Accident on the Pensacola Bay Bridge

It is beach season. With good weather comes more traffic to the beach. More traffic to the beach means an increase in the number of car wrecks on the Pensacola Bay Bridge. We are also getting a new bridge. The new bridge will be great for traffic when it is built. However, for the next […]

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The Telephone Consumer Protection Act: Your Right to Stop Unwanted Debt Collection Calls

Do you wish you could make the nonstop debt collection calls end?  Maybe you fell behind on a bill. Maybe your payment is late. Maybe a creditor or some other business is calling you for no reason. Regardless of why a creditor is calling, the good news is, you can make the calls end! The […]

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What is a Loss of Consortium Claim in a Personal Injury Case and Does your Spouse Have One?

Do you have a claim against a negligent party for personal injuries? Are you married?  If you answered yes to both of these questions, your spouse may have a claim for loss of consortium. Florida law recognizes loss of consortium claims.  Loss of consortium means that an injured plaintiff’s spouse was deprived of marital benefits.  […]

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5 Tips to Keep Your Family Safe on the Water

Swimming and playing in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, bays, streams, rivers, and lakes are popular summer activities on the Gulf Coast. Indeed, swimming has great health benefits. According to the United States Lifesaving Association, drowning is the third leading cause of accidental death in the United States. In Florida it is the […]

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What is Florida’s Lemon Law?

Buying or leasing a new car can be a nightmare when the car starts having problems right away.  There is good news. Florida law protects consumers when they buy a car that has big problems right after its sale. Does your vehicle qualify? Certain requirements must be satisfied for Florida’s Lemon Law to apply. New […]

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Keeping a Personal Injury Journal and How it Can Help Increase the Value of Your Case

Most people laugh when we tell them to keep a journal during their personal injury case.  Many people have not written in a journal since elementary school.  But this is no laughing matter.  Keeping a detailed journal can show how your injuries affected you financially and emotionally.  The ability to prove these details later in […]

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CAR SALES AND THE “YO-YO SCAM”

The Holiday Season is upon us, and many people will be shopping for cars. Do not fall prey to the “yo-yo scam.” So what is a “yo-yo scam” anyway? Many people are not familiar with the term. But the scam is something you need to be aware of so that you are not taken advantage […]

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HARASSING PHONE CALLS

An article in the Dallas News a few weeks back talked about a disreputable company that claims to monitor people’s credit. The company charges a monthly fee to help with “identity management.” Unfortunately, the company actually exposed customers to greater exposure for credit fraud. The company made it easy to sign up for their service […]

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In an Auto Accident?

If you are hurt in an automobile accident, you likely will have many questions. Who is responsible for paying my medical bills? Do I have enough insurance? Does the person who caused the accident have enough insurance? How much treatment will I need? Do I have a claim? Should I talk to a lawyer? Do […]

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School Bus Accidents

School bus accidents happen more often than anyone would like. 65 students were injured near Marianna in Jackson County, Florida today. Three students had to be flown to Tallahassee for emergency treatment. The crash involved two school buses and happened when a semi tractor trailer rear-ended one bus which was pushed into another. Recently, in […]

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Talc use by women may cause cancer?

Really, talc use by women may cause cancer? Who would have thought that Johnson & Johnson and other talc companies would ever keep women from knowing that using talc powder might cause them to have ovarian cancer? Ask yourself….would you have let your female family members sprinkle talc powder in their underwear if you knew […]

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You want a pit bull attorney, why?

Are you shopping for a pit bull lawyer? Ask yourself why. My life experience has taught me that people shopping for a “pit bull” attorney are sometimes looking to use the legal system for something it is not designed for. Would you use a dog trained to attack for a search and rescue mission? Would […]

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What difference can the judge make in your case?

What difference can the judge make in your case? One variable lawyers consider as they are evaluating your case and answering the frequent client question “how does my case look?”, is the judge presiding over your case.  Judges come in as many different flavors as the food selection on a Las Vegas casino buffet.  Seriously, every different personality type, political […]

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DO NOT JEOPARDIZE YOUR PERSONAL INJURY CASE ON SOCIAL MEDIA

These days you can learn just about anything about someone on social media.  There are fewer lengthy phone calls to share exciting news with family or to catch up with friends. Instead, you might log in to Facebook and learn that your college roommate is expecting a baby or that your cousin just bought a […]

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Mass Tort Representation

As our  firm broadens our practice to include mass torts, I am amazed at the level of planning necessary to litigate and resolve these cases. Good personal injury lawyers must have good systems in place to represent plaintiffs in mass tort cases. Managing all the different clients and defendants requires good process and procedures. This […]

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VolksWagen, Audi, & Porsche Claims

Volkswagen’s  clean diesel cars amazed people when they first came out. Diesels are known for being slow and sluggish with poor fuel economy. Diesel emissions can cause damage to lung tissue in children, the elderly, and asthmatics. They also can form smog and acid rain. But Volkswagen promised superb power, great mileage, and clean emissions. They promised something no car company […]

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Being Called as A Witness

Most people think that being a witness at a trial or hearing is not a pleasant experience. Lawyers ask tough questions. Being on the stand is uncomfortable. Lawyers are usually asking the questions, not answering them. Sometimes lawyers have to take the stand and learn what it is like to answer questions in a courtroom. Another lawyer […]

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Watch Out for Trucks

Trucking accidents can be deadly. Over the last few years, car wreck fatalities have declined. However, trucking accident fatalities have increased significantly. Much of the reason for the reductions in car wreck deaths are safety technologies like airbags and anti-lock brakes. For the most part, the trucking industry has resisted any meaningful safety devices on their trucks. Indeed, they have opposed […]

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Paying for Medical Bills in a Car Wreck

Florida’s No-Fault Motor Vehicle Law, otherwise known as Personal Injury Protection (“PIP”), provides $10,000 of insurance coverage for medical bills, funeral expenses, and lost wages incurred as a result of an automobile accident. For medical bills, PIP pays 80%. However, $8000 is rarely enough to cover all medical bills. Doctors, hospitals, and other medical providers will look to other […]

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Will Driverless Cars be Safer?

Personal injury lawyers’ practices will change over the next 20 years. Technology companies like Google, Apple, and Uber are creating driverless cars. Many of the major automobile companies including General Motors, Nissan, and Mercedes-Benz are too. The technology associated with these cars is pretty amazing. It should cut down on the number of automobile accidents. […]

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Transvaginal Mesh Injuries and Lawsuits:

Transvaginal mesh, sometimes referred to as TVM, is a medical device used in women to treat two different female conditions; stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. Doctors will insert these mesh-like devices transvaginally or abdominally to attempt to treat these stress urinary incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse. Some medical device makers have promoted these […]

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Nursing Home Negligence and Abuse

Nursing home abuse is a growing problem. As the Baby Boomer generation ages, nursing home neglect will, likely and unfortunately, only get worse. Children, grandchildren, husbands, wives, and other loved ones entrust those they care about to assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and other adult care communities.  They expect that their cherished family member or […]

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Hurricane Season 2015

Storm surge is the most destructive part of a hurricane. One of the hardest fights with insurance companies is whether damage to a home is caused by wind or flood. NOAA’s National Hurricane Center has a new graphic designed to help homeowners know whether their home is threatened by storm surge. If you wait until the storm […]

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Jury Duty

People tell me this all the time: “I just got a summons for jury duty. I hope I don’t get picked.” My response is always, “I hope you do.” Jury duty is one of the few ways we get to participate in our government. Jury service is one of only two ways that government calls and […]

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Changing the Conversation about Race

I heard this interview on NPR a few weeks ago about a lawyer representing young black men and the struggles that they have on the streets simply because of skin color. I remembered it last week when the Ferguson riots were going on. No matter what your position is on the grand jury’s decision (I have […]

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My Tangle with the School Board

The recent debacle with the Escambia County School Board and its handling of the Escambia High School recruiting issues reminds me of where my legal career all began.  My most challenging case came my first year as a lawyer. I was fresh out of law school, and my first job was as a general practitioner […]

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Our Firm in the News: City of Pensacola Public Records

We made the news again. This time for something that is not very exciting but extremely important. Routine public records requests rarely make the news, but when the city has a history of violating public records laws, they become newsworthy. I made a public records request, and because the city has a history of unnecessary delays in […]

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July 2014 Recalls

Automobiles 2009-14 Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse, and GMC Acadia, and 2009-10 Saturn Outlook. Seatbelt cable may separate causing the potential of a seatbelt malfunction. Call General Motors at 1800-222-1020, Chevrolet at 1800-521-7300, Buick at 1800-462-8782, or Saturn at 1800-553-6000 to set up a dealer replacement free of charge. Household Products Office Depot Gibson Leather Chairs have […]

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GM Ignition Switch Failure Results in Deaths

General Motors has had a problem for years that it intentionally ignored: faulty ignition switches. News reports state that GM knew of the issue as early as 2001 but failed to take any action until 2014. So far, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has the death toll at 13, but some put the casualties […]

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Social Networking and Your Case

Be careful what you put on the internet! Did you know that if you have a personal injury claim that you may have to give the insurance company’s attorneys your account history including photographs, postings, “likes,” and shares on your Facebook or other social media sites? Yes, your Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, MySpace, Instagram, or other […]

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When to Hire a Personal Injury Attorney

If you are injured in a car wreck, a slip and fall, a dog bite, or suffer some other personal injury, it is always wise to consult with an attorney before settling with an insurance company. Indeed, even if you are in a car wreck with only property damage, you should talk with an attorney […]

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Washington Redskins Lose Trademark

Big news out of Washington D.C. today. The United States Patent and Trademark Office “USPTO” issued a ruling today that canceled the trademark for Washington Redskins. The order canceling the trademark found that the term “Redskin” was disparaging stating that although  there was “evidence that some in the Native American community do not find the term “Redskin” […]

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In a Car Wreck? Go See the Doctor!

Have you ever woken up in the morning with muscle pain in your back or legs and thought to yourself “What did I do to pull a muscle? I didn’t do anything strenuous yesterday.”, but later you remember that two days before you helped your sister move a heavy antique table that used to belong […]

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Tracy Morgan Trucking Accident Caused by Driver Fatigue

Tracy Morgan, a renowned comedian from Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock, was seriously injured last weekend when a semi-tractor trailer struck the limo bus he was riding in. News reports state that the driver had not slept in 24 hours in violation of federal regulations. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (“FMCSA”) requires that truckers […]

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If You Are in a Car Wreck, Call the Police

In an Accident? The Best Policy is to Call the Police   I recommend calling the police anytime you are in a motor vehicle accident at the very least to document the accident occurred. Florida has serious penalties for leaving the scene of an accident without fulfilling certain obligations, so do not leave an accident scene […]

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An Endless Cyle: Trapping People in “The System”

A growing trend around the country, and especially in Florida, is to jail people who cannot afford to pay fines in criminal cases. As states tighten budgets and courts increasingly become dependent on fines to fund their budgets, states increase the amounts of fines to sustain their operation. These “user fees” seem innocuous enough: if a […]

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Document Your Auto Accident (Take Pictures)

Being in a car wreck is scary. You quickly go from driving or riding in your car listening to the radio or talking to the person in the car with you to responding to an emergency situation that usually is loud, sudden, and dramatic. Your heart is racing, your adrenaline is running, and, in the […]

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New Gas Leak at the Escambia County Jail

There was a gas leak at the kitchen of the main Escambia County Jail today. This time, unlike at Central Booking and Detention on April 30, 2014, the county appears to have taken appropriate action and turned off the natural gas, according to news reports. The county’s inaction and failure to turn off the gas […]

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Summer is Car Accident Season

Drivers are more likely to get in car wrecks during the Summer than any time of the year according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Among the reasons for more auto accidents are more teen drivers on the road, more vacation drivers, an increased number of tire blowouts due to hot weather, increased road construction, more […]

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Insurance Companies are not Necessarily On Your Side or a Good Neighbor

Insurance companies are big business. Their business is to make money. They profit by taking in more money than they pay out. They do not part with their money easily. If you are injured in a car wreck, a slip and fall, a dog bite, or some suffer some other personal injury and an insurance […]

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In a Car Wreck in Florida, Who is Responsible for Medical Bills?

Due to Florida’s insurance laws, that answer can be tricky. Typically, in a Florida personal injury case, the person who caused the accident is responsible for paying your medical bills. In legal terms, we call the person who caused the injury a “tortfeasor.” If you are in an accident and have medical bills, regardless of […]

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Damages for Civil Rights Claims in Federal Court: State Damages Caps do not Apply

In light of the recent jail explosion, I have seen attorneys quoted in the local and national press that the inmate claims are limited by certain state caps on damages and that this amount could be $200,000 or $300,000. Unfortunately, these lawyers may not know that if there is proof that the jail was “deliberately […]

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Escambia County Jail Explosion Attorney Interviews

The news media has reported over the weekend that attorneys are being denied access to interview inmates housed by Escambia County. This attempt to prevent inmates injured in the blast from seeking legal counsel for either their criminal case to get a bond to get out and get medical attention or to hire a personal injury […]

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Our Firm in the News: Escambia Jail Explosion

I was recently interviewed regarding inmate issues related to the Escambia County Jail Explosion. This tragedy appears to have been completely avoidable. Kudos to the Independent Weekly for their investigation. Many people were affected, and, unfortunately, our society forgets that inmates are our fellow brothers and sisters that are entitled to the same rights and […]

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State Attorney Investigating Jail Explosion

According the AP, State Attorney Bill Eddins of the First Judicial Circuit of Florida is investigating the Escambia County, Florida Jail explosion to determine if he will bring charges of criminal negligence against those responsible. In Florida, the statutory charge is called “Culpable Negligence” and is different from regular negligence. Florida jury instructions define culpable […]

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Our Firm in the News: Escambia Jail Explosion Rally

I was quoted in a local media outlet for a rally I attended last night on behalf of people injured in the bomb blast. Bomb blast injuries are much different and harder to diagnose than injuries hospitals and doctors routinely see. For more information, see the CDC’s informative site on blast injuries.

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Escambia County Jail Explosion Claims

The Escambia County Jail explosion left many inmates and corrections officers with serious injuries and long-term damages. Our investigation has led us to believe that the county knew of a gas leak in the jail for weeks and that the civil rights of inmates were violated resulting in personal injury and even wrongful death claims. […]

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Female Inmates Transferred to Santa Rosa Jail

As I reported earlier, uninjured female inmates involved with the Escambia County Jail explosion were transferred to either Santa Rosa or Okaloosa. Follow this link  to see the list of female inmates in the Santa Rosa County jail.

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County Knew about Gas Leaks

We are investigating potential personal injury, wrongful death, and civil rights claims related to the explosion last night at the Escambia County jail. News reports state that the jail knew about the leaks before the explosion. I personally was at the jail today, and the explosion blew out through the front doors of the Central Booking […]

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Information Regarding Escambia County Jail Explosion

For those of you who do not know, there was a large explosion last night at the jail, and it has been evacuated. Reports are that there are at least 2 deaths. Right now, it is difficult to get information about inmates and their status. I was just up at the jail trying to get […]

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Beware of Personal Injury Lawsuit Lending Companies

You’ve seen the ads promising immediate cash for your car accident or personal injury claim. Companies such as Oasis or LawCash promise that they can put money in your pocket now and that you do not have to pay them back if you do not recover. What they do not tell you is just how […]

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Personal Injury and Criminal Defense Blog

This post is what I hope will be the beginning of a successful blog regarding my legal practice. After practicing for fifteen years, I encounter similar situations and the same questions often enough that I could write a book. Maybe I will. Stay tuned. Until then, I am hoping that my blog can help educate […]

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The Latest from Attorney Eric Stevenson

Jury selection is the most important part of a trial. This study supports the proposition that one person can make a tremendous difference.

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