Florida Insurers Seek Workers’ Compensation Rate Hike

Florida workers’ compensation insurers are seeking a 19.6 percent rate hike for employers. The National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI), an organization representing insurers, proposed the change on May 27 after recent Florida Supreme Court rulings struck down parts of the workers’ compensation system.

NCCI’s proposal comes in response to the court’s decision to strike down a 2009 law limiting attorney fees for lawyers who represent injured employees. The ruling was the result of a case where an attorney was awarded an equivalent rate of $1.53 an hour for 107.2 hours of work after winning a case for an injured Miami worker. The court said in a 5-2 ruling that the 2009 law was unconstitutional, as it challenged the “reasonableness” of attorneys’ fees.

An earlier May filing proposed a 17.1 percent increase in rates. After taking into account the impacts of a recent case involving compensation paid to an injured St. Petersburg firefighter, however, NCCI bumped the proposed rate to 19.6 percent.

According to the Florida Chamber of Commerce, a rate hike could threaten job growth rates in the state. The rate hike, however, follows 13 years of decreasing rates. If the Office of Insurance Regulation approves the rate hike, the changes will go into effect on Oct. 1. A public hearing on the topic will take place on Aug. 16 in Tallahassee.


Florida vehicular accident leaves biker seriously injured

At least one person in Fernandina Beach sustained serious injuries after the bicycle he was riding was struck by a vehicle, an article of News 4 JAX reported on September 28.

Information coming from the Florida Highway Patrol revealed that around 8:00 p.m. an accident involving a bicycle took place on S. 8th Street. The accident reportedly occurred after the bicyclist failed to yield to other vehicles before crossing the street. The bike rider, only identified as a 59-year-old man, sustained serious injuries, but the vehicle driver sustained only minor injuries. Authorities are conducting an investigation to determine what caused the accident.

If you suffer serious injuries after being involved in an accident, seek help from a skilled personal injury attorney, especially if you think negligent parties caused your pain. Find out how a Fort Walton Beach lawyer at the Bruner Law Firm may be able to help you recover from your loss today by calling (850) 243-2222.


Samsung recalling Galaxy Note 7 due to defective batteries

Korean multinational company Samsung has issued a recall to their newly released gadget “Galaxy Note 7” after receiving complaints that its battery is defective, an article of Tech Times reported on September 5.

Reports said, sales of Samsung’s new flagship smartphone was halted after 35 consumers complained that its battery caught fire or exploded after being connected to a charger; the recall will affect approximately 2.5 million units. Samsung in a statement said that they are already investigating the issue and that they want to make sure their customers get the highest quality in their products. Samsung is expected to spend roughly $1 billion to complete the recall.

The Fort Walton Beach lawyers at Bruner Law Firm understand families can be left dealing with a great financial loss as a result of using defective devices sold in the market. If this has happened to you, we may offer you legal assistance to pursue damage claims against negligent parties. Call our office today at (850) 243-2222 to learn more about your options.


Vehicle driver “miraculously” survived in Avon Park semi-truck accident

A driver was recently left in extraordinarily good condition after the van he was driving was struck by a semi-truck in Avon Park, an article of Highlands Today reported on September 12.

According to reports, Sebring resident Paul Edward Messner, at about 10:30 a.m., was driving a Ford Econoline van on North Oak Island Road when he was struck by the semi-truck. Messner told reports that he was pinned inside his vehicle for approximately 30 minutes. Messner recounted that he was on a curve when he experienced braking problems while trying to avoid the collision. It took rescuers nearly an hour before they safely extracted Messner from his vehicle. The Florida Highway Patrol issued a citation to 48-year-old Juan Hernandez-Murga after authorities learned that he was responsible for the crash.

Fortunately, the driver did not suffer serious injuries after being involved in a semi-truck accident. However, this is not always the case when a semi-truck is involved. Contact an attorney with Bruner Law Firm if you’ve been involved in a semi-truck accident that was not your fault. Call us at (850) 243-2222 as soon as possible.


Little girl safely rescued in Florida boating mishap

A little girl that went missing after a boating accident in Cocoa, Florida was successfully rescued by responding personnel after an hour.

On August 19, the Brossard family was in a boat that was overturned after it crashed into a utility pole in the Indian River. All of the family members aboard were ejected from the water vessel, except for Tammy’s 1-year-old daughter, Kennedy, who was trapped inside the boat. Although they could hear Kennedy crying, no one could identify where the sound was coming from and they were unable to find her. Tammy called 911, and responding divers were able to rescue the child. 

If you’ve been involved in an accident as a result of someone else’s actions, you might be entitled to compensation. Learn about how the legal team of the Bruner Law Firm in Fort Walton Beach can represent you by calling (850) 243-2222.


AHCA uncovers violations at a Florida hospital

The Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) recently discovered that a local hospital in Florida committed several violations after a mother who lost her son filed a complaint, an August 12 article of 10 News reported.

According to reports, the AHCA confirmed that a hospital committed health violations after an unannounced visit to Florida Hospital North Pinellas. Agents at the AHCA learned that the nursing staff in the facility committed most of the violations that endangered their patients. The hospital was investigated after Jeanette Gonzalez filed a complaint against them. Gonzalez’s son, Javier Roldan, died at the hospital after going in for the treatment of his broken leg. Gonzalez, however, is unable to pursue damage claims against the hospital because of a Florida law. The state’s Wrongful Death Act prevents family members from filing a medical malpractice suit resulting in the death of their loved one if the person is 25 or older and unmarried. Gonzalez claimed that hospital staff neglected her while her 33-year-old son was struggling with his injuries.

The attorneys at the Bruner Law Firm represent medical malpractice victims in Fort Walton Beach. If you were the victim of a doctor or nurse’s negligence, we may be able to offer you legal assistance. Call us today at (850) 243-2222 to learn more about your options.


DeLand Driver Survives Multiple Rollover Accident

Recently, a DeLand driver survived an auto accident in which his car rolled over several times before landing upside-down in a roadside easement. A video of the horrific accident was recorded on the surveillance camera of a nearby building and has been spreading across the internet.

There were multiple witnesses to the accident and many came out to extinguish the fire in the car and help the driver get out; there were difficulties at first as the car had been crushed in the accident, but eventually rescuers were able to pull the driver out through the sunroof.

The accident was reportedly caused by the vehicle hitting a mailbox and then careening into some parked ATVs before spinning out of control.

The driver sustained injuries to the head and was airlifted to a hospital where he is currently in stable condition. There were no others injured in the accident.

Luckily, this grisly accident had no fatalities, but the lawyers at Bruner Law Firm know that is not always the case. All too often, innocent people are injured or killed by unsafe drivers, dangerous road or weather conditions, or faulty auto parts. If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident, you can call us at (850) 243-2222 to discuss your case with experienced personal injury lawyers.


Tesla blames brakes for fatality

American automaker Tesla Motors recently stated that failing automatic brakes were responsible for the fatal Florida accident under investigation. Tesla refuted that the cause of the accident was the vehicle’s “Autopilot” technology, a July 29 article of the New York Times reported.

Tesla experts told investigators in the Senate on July 28 that the braking system of the vehicle has nothing to do with the Autopilot technology. However, an expert from an auto research company believed that the two technologies are related and work together to prevent accidents. Tesla and its Autopilot technology were investigated by the Senate after a Tesla driver in Florida was killed by crashing into a semi-truck. The driver was believed to be using the unmanned driving technology that, according to Tesla, is a “lifesaving technology” when the accident happened.

Losing a loved one in a car accident often leaves families struggling with great emotional, physical, and financial hardships. However, if you were the victim of an accident in Fort Walton Beach, the Bruner Law Firm legal team could help you obtain compensation if negligent car manufacturers are liable for your sufferings. Call our office today at (850) 243-2222 to learn more about your legal options.


430K faulty Harley-Davidson motorcycles under investigation

On July 6, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opened an investigation into a braking issue that could affect 430,000 Harley-Davidson motorcycles, according to the Office of Defects Investigation (ODI).

ABS modules in some 2008 through 2011 Harley-Davidson motorcycle models may fail to work properly because they are liable to corrode. The ODI received 43 complaints of brake failure, including three crashes and two injuries. The NHTSA explained that the brake fluid could absorb excess moisture over time, resulting in the brake calipers failing to function. Although the NHTSA noted that bikers who complained about the problem could have failed to maintain their brake fluid every two years, the sudden brake failure is still cause for serious concern.

The Fort Walton Beach attorneys at the Bruner Law Firm represent motorcyclists who sustained injuries in accidents. We strongly believe that motorcycle riders should receive fair compensation if negligent parties are liable. If you were the victim of a motorcycle accident, call our office at (850) 243-2222 to learn more about your legal options.


Nickelodeon actor Drake Bell pleads not guilty to DUI charge

American actor Drake Bell, who faces charges for driving while under the influence of intoxicants (DUI) in Los Angeles in December entered a not guilty plea on June 29, an article of CBS Los Angeles reported.

Reports said authorities apprehended Bell, 30, on December 2 , 2015, on San Fernando Road, where he was seen driving erratically. The LA District Attorney’s Office revealed that Bell avoided chemical testing when he was arrested and was later charged with a count of misdemeanor DUI. Bell was previously apprehended for the same offense and may serve a maximum jail term of one year if found guilty. He is expected to appear in a court trial this August. In the meantime, he remains at large after agreeing to attend Alcoholics Anonymous.

Drunk drivers often leave families devastated when they are involved in accidents. If you were the victim of a DUI offender in Fort Walton Beach, a personal injury attorney at the Bruner Law Firm may be able to represent you. Find out how we could help you recover your loss today by calling (850) 243-2222.


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