Have you been bitten by a dog?

dog bite

A dog bite incident can be a traumatizing experience leading to serious health issues. If you have been attacked, do not hesitate to take the necessary steps to safeguard yourself both medically and legally. Treating a dog bite injury will cost you time, money, and stress, so consider discussing your incident with a personal injury attorney who can guide you and help recover the compensation you deserve.

Follow these important steps pursuant to a dog bite, regardless of how minor you think the injuries may be:

1. Identify those involved

Identify the dog, its owner, those who had custody of the dog, and eye witnesses. Collect their contact information before leaving the scene. Obtain the dog’s license information in order to conduct further research about him/her and any previous history of attack or legal designation as being ‘dangerous’ or ‘potentially dangerous’. Unfortunately, if the dog’s owner cannot be identified, you may be required to undergo painful and expensive treatment for rabies.

2. Photographs

Following any incident, be sure to snap photographs of the incident scene, injuries incurred, and the dog and victims involved. These photos can be key in helping you remember the series of events during the attack and to support your legal and medical claim.

3. Seek Treatment for your dog bite wounds

Always seek professional medical care pursuant to a dog bite incident. Regardless of how minor you think the injury is, get it looked at, you will be taking serious health risks if neglected. Retain all medical records and receipts for treatment and medication, you may be eligible for reimbursement.

4. File a dog bite report

It is your civic duty to file a dog bite report with the proper city or county authorities. Do not fail to do this because it establishes or adds to the legal record of the dog, helping future possible victims through enforcement. You could be saving someone from an attack by doing so.

5. Speak with an attorney

If you have questions or concerns about how to move forward after a dog bite, an experienced attorney can help you maneuver through this stressful experience.

At McIntyre Thanasides, we are here to help you overcome this traumatic event. Contact us at 844-511-4800.

Do I have a medical malpractice case?

do i have a medical malpractice caseAs one of the leading causes of death in the United States, medical negligence is not only relatively common, but can have serious and lasting consequences. While people often assume only doctors can be sued for medical malpractice, many other healthcare professionals can be held responsible for their actions, including pharmaceuticals, hospitals, anesthesiologists, and nurses. When it comes to your health and wellbeing, it is important to be able to trust the healthcare professionals working to keep you healthy.

If you are suing your doctor for medical malpractice, there are a couple points you should keep in mind. You must be able to prove that an official doctor-patient relationship existed between you and your physician, even if it was just one appointment. However, most informal advice given by friends or family will not be considered as official. Secondly, you must be able to prove the doctor was negligent in your care. In most cases, a testimony from an expert in the field will be able to prove this by setting a standard of care, or reasonable course of action that any competent doctor would have followed. Lastly, your doctor’s negligence must have caused you some sort of harm, whether financial, physical, or mental. If you think your doctor’s actions, or lack thereof, caused you harm, contact one of our medical malpractice attorneys today.

While the types of medical malpractice cases can be vast, each one could have had a better outcome for the patient. A doctor’s failure to diagnose a patient correctly, or in a timely manner, could cause the patient significant pain and suffering, as they continue to endure the symptoms of their illness. Improper treatment, or incorrectly administered treatment can become quite costly, and again result in unnecessary suffering. Failure of duty of informed consent, or not warning patients of known risks to treatment and medications, can also lead to unexpected, and occasionally dangerous, side effects. The patient has a right to be aware of the risks of treatment. If a pharmaceutical company failed to explain these risks, they may be liable. Likewise, if a hospitable did not properly vet their staff, or did not have enough nurses or doctors on hand to properly treat their patients, they may be held responsible.

If you have been harmed by the negligence of a medical professional, you may be able to receive compensation for unnecessary medical bills, lost income, as well as physical and mental suffering. Contact McIntyre Thanasides today at (844)511-4800 for help with your case.

A New Bill in Florida Requires an Ignition Interlock for First Time DUI Offenders

dui ignition interlockIn a recent attempt to crack down on driving under the influence (DUI), a new bill (HB949) has just passed the Transportation and Infrastructure committee in the Florida House of Representatives. If passed, this bill will require all first-time offenders to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle. While it still needs to pass through two more committees before making it to the House floor, it is important to know what this bill will mean for you.

Court Requirements

While all 50 states have some sort of ignition interlock requirement for repeat offenders, 28 other states currently have laws similar to HB949.  At this time, under Florida law, first time DUI offenders are only required to have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is higher than .15{7dff60334df83244b79b5471a8769907d27e202ac622cbe5ff51878e61595e62}, if there was a minor in the vehicle, or if it has been court-ordered. Repeat offenders are required to install the device, no matter their BAC. This new bill will make it mandatory for all first-time offenders to install the ignition interlock device for a least six months after their conviction.  Legislators hope that this bill will prevent first time offenders from repeating.

What are Ignition Interlock Devices?

An ignition interlock device is essentially a breathalyzer plugged into a vehicle. The driver must breathe into the device in order to start the vehicle. The device will then beep five minutes later, as a reminder to breathe into it again. The driver must retest every half hour. The data will be recorded and sent to the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles, and will then be accessible online. The device itself costs $70 to install, requires monthly calibration at a specific facility, which will cost $67, along with a $100 safety deposit. If the offender cannot afford it, the court can order part of the offender’s fine to cover the expenses.

If you, or a loved one, is facing a DUI charge, our lawyers at McIntyre Thanasides can help you. Experienced in Florida DUI law, our criminal defense attorneys will fight for your case, whether you are a first-time or a repeat offender. Have you been pulled over and faced with the decision to blow or not to blow into a breathalyzer? Our lawyers can advise you on how to proceed. Contact us today for a consultation at (844)511-4800.

My ITT Tech school closed. What Can I do about my Student Loan Debt?

how_does_Bankruptcy_workStudents from all of ITT Tech’s 136 locations were left without a school due to its bankruptcy and subsequent closure in September of 2016. If you are one of those students, what will you do about your outstanding student loan debt? Here is vital information about your debt options in the event your college goes out of business. If you have other inquiries about student loan debt, the skilled attorneys at McIntyre Thanasides Bringgold Elliott Grimaldi & Guito, P.A. are equipped to answer your questions and concerns.

Closed School Loan Discharge

One option is to apply for a Closed School Loan Discharge which, if granted, would release you from your student loan debt and reimburse you for what you have already paid toward the loan. This option is applicable to federal direct loans, Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL), or Federal Perkins Loans, but comes with specific eligibility criteria. A key date to note is May 6, 2016 which is 120 days prior to ITT Tech’s closing on September 6. This is the earliest date that you could have withdrawn from ITT Tech in order to be eligible for a Closed School Loan Discharge. If you were enrolled at the time of its closure, or withdrew on or after May 6, 2016, and did not complete the program for which you received federal loans, you may apply for 100% loan forgiveness if you aren’t transferring credits to another school for a similar program. If you were enrolled but on approved leave of absence during this time period, you would be considered eligible for this loan forgiveness option. Apply by filling out the Closed School Loan Discharge Application and submitting it to your loan servicer. You should continue to pay back your loans until you receive determination of whether or not your discharge has been granted or denied. For private loans, you must contact your loan servicer to learn of the options you have with them.

Transfer Schools

If you are interested in pursuing your education at a school that offers a comparable program to that which you were enrolled in at ITT Tech, you should discuss transferring with an advisor at your school of interest. Advisors will assess your coursework for the possibility of transferring credits and keeping you on your projected track of your educational goals. If you pursue a similar program with credits transferred from ITT Tech, you would not be eligible to apply for loan forgiveness through the Closed School Loan Discharge. However, if you transfer to a school to pursue a completely unrelated program than what you were enrolled in at ITT Tech, you may eligible for the Closed School Loan Discharge, provided you meet all of the other conditions.

Unexpectedly halting your education due to a school closure while saddled with student loan debt can be a major setback for your future plans. For a detailed review of your situation, contact a student loan debt relief attorney at McIntyre Thanasides who can review your options and help move you forward. Call us at 1-844-511-4800.

Car Crashes: Do’s and Don’ts

Car Accident AttorneysThere are approximately 3,287 deaths a day due to car crashes according to the Association for Safe International Road Travel (ASIRT). A preventative measure that you can take as a driver to prevent a car crash from happening is to avoid being a distracted driver. If you need to learn more about Distracted Driving and Florida’s law concerning it, please refer to our article “Think twice about texting and driving” to learn more. In the event of a car crash you should:

  1. Do call 911.

Even if the collision seems minor and no one is hurt, it is important to have proper legal documentation of the incident. Police officers can speed up the process of exchanging information from each party. If someone is hurt however, it is required that you seek medical attention for the injured and stay with person(s) until help arrives. In addition, if someone is injured or damages to vehicle are above $500, Florida law says that law enforcement must be called.

  1. Do give your information to the other party.

It is your responsibility under Florida Statute 316.062 to give your name, address, vehicle registration number and license to anyone involved in the collision and law enforcement. Refusing to give your information is counted as a nonmoving traffic violation. In an instance where you may hit another unoccupied vehicle you must leave your name, address and license plate on a note attached to the car and contact local authorities.

  1. Do call your attorney.

At the scene of a crash your attorney can advise you on information you should collect at the scene such as evidence photos and additional information. Your attorney will also notify you of your rights and additional steps to take concerning injury and/or hospitalization. The attorneys at McIntyre Thanasides Bringgold Elliott Grimaldi & Guito, P.A. can help you. Call us at (844)511-4800 and we can provide you with a course of action.

  1. Don’t leave the scene.

Leaving the scene of a car accident constitutes a second-degree misdemeanor according to Florida Statute 775.082. The consequences include up to 60 days in jail and a fine. Furthermore, under the Aaron Cohen Life Protection Act, a person convicted of leaving the scene of a crash that resulted in death will receive a mandatory four years in prison according to Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FHSMV).

  1. Don’t admit fault.

Unfortunately, you could be charged legally for the words you say at the scene of an accident. Apologizing or admitting fault makes you liable for the situation. Liability makes you responsible for the costs of repairs and medical expenses. In addition, your insurance rate may go up. According to Esurance, the best response to an accident is stating the facts and letting the authorities and insurance agencies determine who is at fault.

  1. Get helpful witness information if you can.

Many times there are witnesses to crashes who are unwilling to stick around long enough for the police to get there and provide their contact information and a witness statement.  Often it is the case that when an officer does arrive, they are dealing with a number of considerations that are unrelated to your crash, and they will not always take the time to speak with every potential witness.  If at all possible, if you identify any witnesses, particularly those that have a similar or supporting view of the cause of the crash to yours, you should encourage these types of witnesses to stick around and speak to the police.  If they are unwilling to do so, you should at least try to secure their contact information (name, address, phone number) for yourself in order to provide it to the police when they arrive and/or your attorney.

Were you in a car crash recently? McIntyre Law Firm wants to help you! Do not hesitate to call us at (844) 511-4800.

How Can I Get Out of a Florida Red Light Camera Ticket?

Can I Flight a Red Light Camera Ticket in Florida

Red light cameras have been causing a stir over the last few years as critics have challenged their safety, accuracy, and how constitutional they are. In Florida alone, law enforcement agencies processed more than 300,000 red light tickets in 2015 – a 20% increase from the following year.

When a vehicle passes over an intersection at a red light, a sensor is activated, triggering the camera. The camera photographs the license plate and the driver, which is sent via mail as a citation to the vehicle’s registered owner’s address.

If you’ve been charged with a red light camera citation, there are a few things you should know. If you want trusted legal representation, the attorneys at McIntyre Thanasides are experienced in handling red light tickets and can help you with the details of your case. Here are a few items to consider when contesting a red light ticket.

  1. The photos: This is the first line of defense in fighting a red light ticket, as the camera will not only photograph the license plate of the vehicle in question, but the driver behind the wheel as well. Examine the photos closely. Is the license plate clearly legible? Are you in fact driving the vehicle? In some cases, you may have lent your car out to a friend or neighbor, and weren’t driving at the time. The responsibility of a red light ticket violation is not automatically the vehicle’s owner, but rather, the person operating the vehicle at that time.
  2. The device: If you are ticketed, the enforcing agent should provide evidence that the camera and sensors were working properly on the day your citation was issued. Be sure that the enforcing agent should be able to this evidence at trial, otherwise it could suggest a device malfunction.
  3. The situation: Driving is a complex task that requires drivers to adapt and react accordingly to changes in their environment. If you ran a red light because it was raining and the road was too slick to stop in time, or you did so to avoid being hit by another car, you must say so. Explaining safety concerns and demonstrating an avoidance to cause a crash can be valid claims in disputing a red light ticket.

Depending on your situation and circumstances, you may be able to get out of a Florida red light ticket. If you have received a citation in the mail, contact the experienced attorneys at McIntyre Thanasides to help you navigate the best course of action. Our lawyers are here to serve you, call today at (844)511-4800.

Are You Being Harassed for Credit Card Debt?

Harassed for Credit Card Debt

Being harassed for credit card debt can feel like a merciless series of interrogations. If you’re facing late mortgage payments, student loans, past-due bills or more, dealing with persistent calls from debt collectors usually adds to the mounds of already existing stress.

The Federal Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) has rules in place prohibiting debt collectors from harassing, oppressing or abusing you while contacting you about debts.

We care about your wellbeing in times of debt. Our skilled attorneys at McIntyre Thanasides Bringgold Elliott Grimaldi & Guito, P.A are trained and able to give you the assistance you need when dealing with credit card debt harassment.

In addition to consulting with a trusted lawyer, here are a few steps you can take to protect yourself from credit card debt harassment.

Contact the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)

You can submit an official complaint through the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) reporting the harassment you are facing and giving details of your negative experience. The CFPB will then forward your complaint to the company responsible for harassing you, demanding a response within 15 days and aiding you in taking action to end the harassment. To submit a complaint, click here.

Send a cease communication letter

If debt collectors call you non-stop, especially for credit card debt, you may draft a strongly worded cease communication letter demanding them to stop contacting you while you work to pay off your debts. This course of action is most beneficial when debt collectors call you while at work, which could put your job in jeopardy.

Keep full records of your communication

As in most legal cases, documentation is key! Whenever you’re communicating with a debt collector, keep a well-rounded record of your conversations, emails or letters exchanged. Be sure to save any and all voicemails, too. By keeping a trail of your experiences with debt collectors, you have a better chance of pinpointing where and how harassment takes place, giving you the tools you need to put it to a stop.

If you face harassing phone calls, letters or emails from demanding debt collectors, we at McIntyre Law Firm are here to help. Call our consumer protection lawyers; Jeff Hakanson and James Elliott today at (844)511-4800.

I crashed my car – what if I don’t feel injured?

During moments of excitement, it can be challenging to notice if something is wrong. Our bodies go into survival mode, granting us a kick of adrenaline that sometimes keeps us from feeling pain. This adrenaline is helpful in the throes of an automobile crash but what do you do if you do not feel injured immediately after your accident?

At McIntyre Law Firm, we have helpful tips to keep in mind.

Give yourself time to evaluate possible injuries

Because of the adrenaline rush that frequently follows a car accident, crash victims feel fine at first. If you step out of your car and do not see any immediately dangerous outer injuries, you might just assume that you are unharmed.

Before brushing yourself off and saying “I’m fine,” take a moment to really get in touch with what your body is feeling. Immediately after a crash, your adrenaline levels will be higher, preventing you from feeling symptoms. Let that pass and then evaluate yourself. Do you have any scrapes, cuts or lacerations? Are you bleeding? Can you move your arms, legs and neck without trouble?

If you notice anything peculiar about how you look or feel after letting the adrenaline die down, do not ignore that.

Seek and accept immediate medical attention

Unfortunately, many symptoms of serious or even minor injuries take time to show up. Following your car accident, be sure to ask for medical attention as soon as possible.

Paramedics ask a list of questions at the scene of a crash, and it can sometimes be overwhelming when you are still processing the shock of what just happened to you. Stay calm and ask them to repeat their questions if necessary. Pay attention to the specific symptoms they inquire about: dizziness, headache, shortness of breath, nausea, neck pain and more. If you are not feeling a particular symptom, answer their questions with “not yet,” or “not right now,” in the event those symptoms reveal themselves later.

If possible, go to the hospital or your doctor once you leave the scene of the crash in order to get another professional opinion and examination. Even if you do not feel any immediate pain, pay attention to how your body may develop more symptoms within the first 20 minutes, 2 hours, 8 hours, 24 hours, etc. It is better to keep a watchful eye and catch your injuries later than to say you feel fine and not catch them at all.

Wait before signing a settlement

Refrain from signing any releases until you have been properly examined for external and internal injuries after a car accident. If you sign any sort of release from an insurance company prior to your injuries revealing themselves, you cannot go back and ask for medical coverage for those injuries once you discover them.

Recovering from a car accident is never a fun task to handle, so do not handle it alone. Our lawyers at McIntyre Thanasides Bringgold Elliott Grimaldi & Guito, P.A. are here to assist you. Call us today at (844)511-4800 if you or someone you know has been involved in an automobile crash.