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Take proactive steps when it comes to your company and lawsuits

Lawsuits are almost an inevitability when individuals start a business. Numerous factors could result in a client, customer, partner, another business or other person or entity becoming disgruntled with your business in such a way that it may take litigation to settle. While you should certainly look forward to business growth and successes, you should also keep the potential for conflicts in mind.

Rather than just sitting back and waiting for someone to file a lawsuit against your company, you may want to take a proactive approach, work to lessen the likelihood of claims and protect your interests in the event that a lawsuit does come against your company.

Understanding the process of a business lawsuit

In the eyes of the law, a business is considered a person and therefore, can be sued by other corporate and private entities. In West Palm Beach, a business owner can be well-prepared for possible litigation by developing a general understanding of what a lawsuit is and how it proceeds through the courts. This post is offered to help readers understand the business lawsuit process, but is not legal advice.

A lawsuit against a business begins when a person or other entity files a complaint alleging that the business breached some duty and caused harm. The business must receive notice of the complaint, and generally, that notice will be directed to a director or other ranking employee of the entity.

What constitutes a hit-and-run car accident?

When vehicles collide on Florida roads, it is customary for the drivers of the involved automobiles to speak after their accident. During their interaction, they often exchange important information, such as their names, addresses and phone numbers. They may also exchange information related to their vehicle insurers, as well as the name of any passengers who were present in their vehicles. When serious accidents occur these formalities are skipped as injured victims are rushed to hospitals for treatment and care.

However, when an accident happens and a victim does not have the opportunity to even see the driver of the other car, that accident may be classified as a hit-and-run. A hit-and-run car accident happens when a driver is involved in a crash and elects to not stop to help others or to exchange information with other parties. In Florida, criminal charges may be filed against drivers who cause hit-and-run accidents.

Important elements of a residential real estate contract

Buying a home is a big step for any Florida resident to take, so when the time comes to begin working out the purchase details of the property a buyer should do their homework to avoid future real estate contract disputes. There are a number of elements that must be present in a residential real estate contract, but readers of this post are reminded that its contents are not exhaustive. Individuals are strongly encouraged to speak with their trusted real estate attorneys about their pending real estate purchases and contracts to protect their rights.

First, any contract for the sale of property must be in writing. While oral contracts are permissible in other contexts, the statute of frauds prevents property sales to be executed in such a way. This is to ensure that buyers get what they intended to purchase, and so that fraud may be reduced in the sale of real estate.

Florida's real estate disclosure rules

As is the case in other parts of the country, our state abandoned the traditional principle, "let the buyer beware" when buying and selling single-family homes. Instead, a seller in West Palm Beach has a general obligation to disclose certain property defects to a buyer.

Specifically, while a seller does not need to tell a buyer about something they already know, sellers must disclose a defects that are not open and obvious to a buyer. But, the defect also has to have some bearing on the property's overall value. Finally, the seller must know about the defect.

Overview of Florida's bad faith statute

Like several other states, Florida has a law on its books which allows West Palm Beach residents to sue their insurance companies for bad faith under certain circumstances.

Under this law, a resident can obtain compensation for damages from the insurance company in the event the company engages in techniques like improperly denying or delaying the payment of a valid insurance claim. Among other things, the statue also applies to situations in which an insurance company insists on trying a case even though settlement is clearly the better option.

Chain-reaction crash injures 8 on Florida state road

When weather conditions change Florida drivers have to be prepared to alter their driving tactics. This can mean slowing down when visibility decreases, using caution when rain makes roads slick, and reducing distractions when traffic is heavy. Failing to alter one's driving habits in the face of changing conditions can be disastrous, just as it was recently on a Florida state road.

Heavy fog plagued parts of Central Florida and as a result a mother driving her infant child slowed down her vehicle to navigate with declining visibility. The vehicle traveling behind her, though, did not react to her decrease in speed and as a result rear-ended her vehicle. That accident set off a chain-reaction that in the end involved 17 automobiles.

Distracted driving is a dangerous practice

It is no surprise to readers of this Florida legal blog that individuals are busier than ever. Some people find it almost impossible to keep up with their family commitments, work responsibilities and social calendars without engaging in a significant amount of multitasking. But there is one activity that individuals should never do while focusing on other responsibilities and that is driving.

When a driver is doing something other than paying attention to the road then they are engaged in the dangerous practice of distracted driving. Distracted drivers hurt and kill many Americans each year and their distractions take on many different forms. While texting and driving and using a cell phone while driving are major forms of distraction, so too may be eating while driving, speaking with passengers and checking maps or global positioning devices while driving all also constitute distractions.

You shouldn't fear losing your job because you're pregnant

Having a child ought to be an exciting time in your life. Perhaps you have been trying to get pregnant for a while, and now that you are, you can't wait to meet the newest addition to your family. However, it appears that people at work are treating you differently now and may even express concerns that you can't adequately perform your job duties due to your pregnancy.

The situation may get even worse if you experience complications that require you to take a temporary leave of absence during your pregnancy. When it comes time to give birth, you could face further discriminatory actions. You may wonder if your employer can treat you differently because of your pregnancy. The answer is a resounding, "No!"

What is a fiduciary duty?

In a family, it is presumed that Florida parents will act in the best interests of their children. Similarly, when a West Palm Beach resident goes to the doctor, they may assume that their doctor will have their best interests in mind. The same holds true in business. If a person has the responsibility of acting with others best interests in mind, it is said that they have a fiduciary duty and they are bound to preserve the interests of others because others have put their confidence and trust into them.

Acting as a fiduciary can be hard for a business person. They may want to take risks with a business or take the entity down a less secure path in the hope of reaping greater profits down the road. However, if they become negligent or reckless in their responsibilities to others who have trusted them, such as shareholders or partners in business, then it is possible that they will breach their fiduciary duty in the process.

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Reid Burman Lebedeker
Esperante Building, Suite 1160
222 Lakeview Avenue
West Palm Beach, FL 33401

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Phone: 561-659-7700
Fax: 561-659-6377
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