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West Palm Beach Legal Blog

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.

Legal help for residential real estate disputes

It is often said that a person's home is their castle. A home is a place where a Floridian feels safe and comfortable, where they raise their kids and live their lives, and where they toil to create a space that serves both their physical and emotional needs. A person's home is a special place, and when others threaten to disrupt the delicate balance that many create in their houses, significant real estate disputes can ensue.

Recently this blog discussed lease agreements and the provisions that should be contained in them; real estate disputes can develop from poorly written lease terms or bad actions between tenants and landlords. Real estate disputes can also arise when property owners cannot come to terms with their neighbors regarding boundaries and property lines, as well as when property owners are told that their residences violate municipal zoning and building codes.

What terms should be included in a lease agreement?

Not everyone is able to or wants to buy a house. Property ownership comes with a host of responsibilities that some West Palm Beach residents would rather not carry. When a person is not in a position to purchase their own residence they may turn to a rental property in order to have a place to live.

When a person rents a property they are granted the right to live in that location for a set duration of time and for a certain price. These are the very basic terms that a landlord (property owner) and tenant (renter) must agree to in their lease agreement. However, a lease agreement between a landlord and tenant should be comprehensive enough to clarify any issues that may arise between the parties to prevent a property dispute between them.

Actions of insurers that may constitute bad faith

When an accident happens and a Florida resident has to contact their insurance company about recovering under their policy, that individual may expect prompt service and information that will help them work through the process of becoming whole. While in many cases insurers act reasonably and perform as they should under the agreements that they make with their policy holders, in some situations insurers act with bad faith. Bad faith involves dishonesty and engaging in unfair practices.

An insurer may deliberately delay investigating an insurance claim in order to wait out the period of time in which they would otherwise have to make a determination on paying on the claim. They may perform a sloppy or incomplete investigation due to negligence or to avoid finding the complete facts - this type of dishonesty may constitute bad faith.

An overview of damages after a vehicle accident

Victims of vehicle accidents can suffer many types of incident-related harm. They may wind up spending significant amounts of time in Florida hospitals as they recuperate and incur lengthy medical bills as a result. They may be unable to work because of their accident-related limitations and lose income from their inabilities to hold down jobs. Additionally, it is possible to experience fears and apprehensions regarding driving or riding in cars and find that the quality of life is diminished in the wakes of their ordeals.

All of these forms of injury and loss can be categorized into different types of damages. Damages are the financial compensation that accident victims receive when they receive awards from the courts. In Florida, damages may be considered special or general.

Palm Beach-area accident leaves one dead

Speed may have been the cause of a devastating two vehicle accident that recently killed a Port St. Lucie woman. The victim was 23-years-old and was making a turn in her car when her vehicle was hit from the side. The T-bone accident was caused by a 22-year-old man who collided with the left side of the victim's vehicle.

The victim passed away at the scene of the devastating accident while the driver of the speeding car was taken to a local hospital. Investigators are still looking into why the early morning crash occurred but do believe that the negligent driver was driving at a high rate of speed when the collision happened.

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

Toll Free: 800-205-9655
Phone: 561-659-7700
Fax: 561-659-6377
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