Woman Faces Manslaughter Charges After Her Dogs Kill Public Health Employee

An Alabama Department of Public Health employee was trying to do her job. Following up on a report of a dog attack, the official went to talk to the owner of the dogs. But, the employee didn’t get a chance to talk to the owner or file her report. She was killed by the dogs she was there to investigate

Now the owner of the dogs faces manslaughter charges. How do Alabama and Florida laws handle a tragic situation like this, and what potential consequences will the owner of the dogs face?

A Dog Attack While Investigating a Dog Attack

Jacqueline Summer Beard, a 58-year-old environmental supervisor and Alabama Department of Public Health employee, had a job to do. Beard was following up on a case where a woman was attacked by a pack of dogs in northwestern Alabama. The dogs bit the woman and caused her to be hospitalized.

Beard’s job was to talk to the owner of the dog and investigate the attack. The health department follows up on animal bites to look for potential rabies risks. But, Beard didn’t get a chance to talk to the owner. Instead, she was attacked by the dogs and killed.

Authorities arrived on the scene after nearby residents called to report a suspicious vehicle. When police arrived, the dogs began attacking people on the scene. At least one dog was immediately euthanized. At that time, police found Beard’s vehicle and her body inside.

Beard had been trying to contact Brandy Dowdy, 39, the owner of the dogs. Beard never made contact with Dowdy. Now, Dowdy faces manslaughter charges for what happened to Beard.

The Dogs’ Owner Faces Criminal Charges in Alabama

Alabama has specific legislation that relates to dog attacks. The Dangerous Dog Law, often referred to as Emily’s Law, was created after Emily Colvin was killed outside of her home by a pack of dogs in Jackson County in 2017.

According to CBS News, Emily’s Law calls for felony and misdemeanor charges for dog attacks. An owner is said to be responsible if their animal attacks, injures, or kills a person. The consequences are more severe if the animal had previously been deemed dangerous.

AL.com reported:

“If a dog that has been previously declared dangerous kills or seriously injures a person, the owner could be charged with a Class B felony, punishable by 2 to 20 years in prison.

If a dog that has not been previously declared dangerous kills or seriously injures a person, and the owner knew the dog had a propensity to be dangerous and recklessly disregarded that, the owner could be charged with a Class C felony, punishable by 1 to 10 years.”

It’s not clear whether Dowdy’s dogs, seven in total, had been previously declared dangerous, but her criminal charges mean she may face from one to twenty years in prison.

Related: Types of Personal Injury Cases: Do You Have a Claim? 

Will the Dogs’ Owner Also Face Civil Charges?

At this time, the dog owner faces criminal charges from the state of Alabama. The owner may also face civil charges in the future.

Beard’s family may choose to sue for wrongful death. In that case, the family would sue Dowdy in civil court and attempt to seek damages. To prove fault in a personal injury or wrongful death case, the family would need to prove that the death was caused by the negligence of the owner.

At this time, no civil charges have been filed.

Related: What’s the Difference Between a Civil and Criminal Case? 

What Are the Laws Regarding Dog Attacks in Florida?

In Florida, dangerous dog attacks are defined in Florida Statutes Chapter 767. Owners can be held liable for any injury their dog inflicts on a person, domestic animal, or livestock. There are some exceptions, such as if a victim’s negligence led to the attack or if there were signs present on private property warning people of the dog’s presence.

Like Alabama, Florida also has specific guidelines for dealing with incidents with dangerous dogs. A dog is deemed dangerous if it has:

“(a) Has aggressively bitten, attacked, or endangered or has inflicted severe injury on a human being on public or private property;

(b) Has more than once severely injured or killed a domestic animal while off the owner’s property; or

(c) Has, when unprovoked, chased or approached a person upon the streets, sidewalks, or any public grounds in a menacing fashion or apparent attitude of attack, provided that such actions are attested to in a sworn statement by one or more persons and dutifully investigated by the appropriate authority.”

If a dog has been declared dangerous, the owner can face more severe charges if the dog attacks and causes injury or death. The owner could be charged with a third-degree felony and face up to five years in jail.

In Florida, a victim or their family can also pursue a civil case if they are involved in a dog attack. They can sue for wrongful death or personal injury.

Talk to a Personal Injury Attorney About Animal Attacks

If you or someone you know has been involved in an animal attack, you deserve justice. Whether or not the owner of the dog has been criminally charged, you may have an option to pursue civil charges. Talk to a personal injury attorney or a wrongful death attorney to share the details of your story and see if you have a case.

Talk to an attorney right away. Schedule your call with personal injury attorney, TJ Grimaldi. Schedule your free consultation or call 813-226-1023.

Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed in Tragic Orlando FreeFall Ride Accident

What was supposed to be a fun night for Missouri teens on spring break in Florida turned into a tragedy when 14-year-old Tyre Sampson fell from his seat on a FreeFall amusement park ride and died.

Now, as the parents and the state of Florida try to make sense of the terrible accident, Sampson’s parents are moving forward with legal action. Sampson’s parents have filed a wrongful death lawsuit.

What Went Wrong on the FreeFall Ride?

In Orlando’s ICON Park stands FreeFall. Referred to as the “world’s tallest drop tower,” the ride rises to 400 feet in the air before dropping passengers on a freefall. It is a relatively new ride that opened in December 2021.

On March 24, 14-year-old Tyre Sampson wanted to take a ride on FreeFall. The teen was visiting Florida while on spring break with a friend’s family. He took a seat on FreeFall, and no one stopped him — even though they should have.

The ride’s operating manual says the maximum passenger weight for the ride is 286. Samson stood at 6 feet, 5 inches and reportedly weighed 360 pounds.

He should not have been allowed on the ride, and according to reports, the ride should not have operated without his seat being secure.

But, the ride took off.

On the ride’s descent, Sampson fell from his seat and was tragically killed.

Related: Examples of Wrongful Death Cases: Do You Have a Case?   

The Findings from Florida’s State Investigation

After the tragic event, the state of Florida hired the forensics company, Quest Engineering to determine what went wrong on the ride. Released on April 18, 2022, the report indicated that “manual adjustments” were one of the factors that contributed to the accident, as reported by Fox 35 in Orlando.

Florida Agriculture Commissioner, Nikki Fried shared some of the findings during a press conference:

“The report confirms that manual adjustments had been made to the sensor for the seat in question that allowed the harness’ restraint opening to be almost double that of the normal restraint’s opening range.

These misadjustments allowed the safety lights to illuminate – improperly satisfying the ride’s electronic safety mechanisms — that allowed the ride to operate even though Mr. Sampson was not properly secured in the seat.”

One week after the state’s report was released, Sampson’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit.

Related: How Do You Sue for Wrongful Death? 

Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed by Sampson’s Family

The 65-page wrongful death civil lawsuit was filed in Orange County’s Ninth Judicial Circuit Court on behalf of Sampson’s parents, Nekia Dodd and Yarnell Sampson, and Sampson’s estate.

According to Fox 35 in Orlando, the lawsuit names the owners and manufacturers of the Orlando FreeFall ride, the operators of ICON Park which is the amusement park where the ride is located, and the construction company that built the ride.

The wrongful death suit alleges that the defendants:

  • Failed to follow ride’s safety guidelines
  • Failed to ensure Sampson was properly secured before the ride took off
  • Failed to post warnings about height and weight restrictions
  • Failed to install adequate restraints systems

The lawsuit requests trial by jury and seeks an unknown amount of damages. It states that Sampson “had a long and prosperous life in front of him that was cut short by this tragic event.”

How to Prove Fault in a Wrongful Death Case

Attorneys representing Sampson’s family will now seek to prove in court that the accident should never have happened and that the named defendants are to blame.

To prove fault in a personal injury case, attorneys in Sampson’s case must prove four things.

  1. Negligence: Attorneys must show that that accident was caused because one or more people or businesses were aware of an unsafe condition and failed to act to make it safe.
  2. Causation: Attorneys must show that the proven negligence was the direct cause of the accident. The accident only happened because of the negligence.
  3. Damages: Attorneys must show that damages were caused as a result of the accident. Damages can be monetary (such as cost of funeral, loss of potential income, etc.) and non-monetary (such as emotional trauma, loss of companionship, etc.).
  4. Breach of Duty: Attorneys must show that the defendant or defendants had a duty to provide a safe condition for the plaintiff.

The Sampson family lawsuit was filed on April 25, 2022, and no court dates have been set as of now. The Sampson family will seek to get their day in court and find justice for their son.

Related: 6 of the Most Commonly Asked Questions About Personal Injury 

Seeking Justice in Wrongful Death and Personal Injury Cases

If you or someone you love was injured in an accident, you deserve justice. Talk to a personal injury or wrongful death attorney about how you can hold parties accountable for negligence that resulted in an accident or damages.

See if you have a case worth fighting for. Schedule a time to talk to TJ Grimaldi today. To talk to TJ, schedule your free consultation or call 813-226-1023.

Bill Paxton’s Family Reaches $1 Million Settlement in Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Five years ago, actor Bill Paxton died two weeks after a surgery that was supposed to save his life. His family believes the level of care he received led to his untimely death, and they are fighting in court to prove it.

As of this month, their battle is half over. They recently won a $1 million settlement in the wrongful death lawsuit.

What Led to Bill Paxton’s Death?

According to his death certificate, Paxton was born with a form of heart disease called bicuspid aortic valve. People with the disease have only two small leaflets in the aortic valve, instead of the usual three. The defect decreases blood flow in the heart which increases the risk of aneurysm, stroke, or heart failure.

It’s estimated that 2% of the population suffers from a bicuspid aortic valve, and of the people affected by the disease, roughly a third experience complications. In February 2017, Paxton experienced complications, suffered an aortic aneurysm, and underwent valve replacement surgery.

Two weeks later, Paxton died on February 25, 2017. Complications from surgery resulted in a stroke that killed the 61-year-old actor.

One year later, Paxton’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit. According to the lawsuit, complications from the surgery were said to include excessive bleeding, cardiogenic shock, right ventricular dysfunction, and a compromised right coronary artery.

According to Page Six, the family alleged that healthcare providers, “misrepresented and/or concealed information relating to the risks of surgery and care that would be provided and/or failed to adequately explain the proposed treatment or procedure.”

Related: How Do You Sue for Wrongful Death?

The Details of the Wrongful Death Lawsuit

The wrongful death suit was filed by Paxton’s wife, Louise, and his children, James and Lydia.

The suit filed in February 2018 listed Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and Dr. Ali Khoynezhad, the surgeon who operated on Paxton, as defendants. Later, General Anesthesia Specialists Partnership and anesthesiologist, Dr. Moody Makar were also added to the wrongful death and negligence lawsuit.

The Paxtons allege that they were misled about the safety of the procedure performed on Paxton and about the experience of the involved doctors.

At the time of the initial filing, the attorney representing the Paxton family Bruce Broillet offered a statement, “Bill Paxton and his family trusted the physicians and staff at this medical facility but instead Cedars-Sinai betrayed their trust.”

“The surgeon’s actions resulted in this tragic and preventable death,” he added.

The family believe the surgeon used “high risk and unconventional surgical approach” during the procedure, which ultimately led to Paxton’s death. They also said Khoynezhad and Cedars-Sinai, “Failed to disclose that Khoynezhad was going to use a high risk and unconventional surgical approach with which he lacked experience and which was, based upon information and belief, beyond the scope of his privileges.”

Related: Examples of Wrongful Death Cases: Do You Have a Case?   

The Details of the Wrongful Death Settlement

Now, four years after the initial wrongful death lawsuit was filed, the Paxton family has settled with General Anesthesia Specialists Partnership and Dr. Moody Makar.

While the two defendants deny responsibility, they have settled the case as part of what they call a “business decision,” as reported by NBC News.

According to court records, the group, “contends that its personnel complied with the standard of care insofar as their involvement in the care and treatment of … Paxton, and nothing their personnel did or didn’t do caused or contributed to his death.”

Paxton’s family will receive $1 million in the settlement.

Related: 11 Examples of Medical Malpractice Cases Worth Fighting For  

Does This Mean It’s Over?

The $1 million settlement only ends half of the Paxton family’s wrongful death lawsuit. The other two defendants, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and Dr. Ali Khoynezhad, are still in a legal fight.

The Paxtons are planning to go to trial where their legal team will need to prove:

  • Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and Dr. Ali Khoynezhad were negligent in that they were aware of an unsafe condition and failed to act.
  • It was the duty of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and Dr. Ali Khoynezhad to provide safe conditions.
  • The negligence of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and Dr. Ali Khoynezhad directly led to Paxton’s death.
  • Paxton’s family experienced monetary or non-monetary damages as a result of Paxton’s death.

According to NBC News, a trial date for the remaining defendants in the case is scheduled for September.

Do You Have a Wrongful Death Claim Worth Fighting For?

Wrongful death cases are a type of personal injury case. They are cases where the negligence of one or more parties caused not just the injury, but the death of another party.

If someone close to you died because of the negligence of another person or company, you deserve justice. Talk to a personal injury attorney with experience in wrongful death litigation, and see if you have a case worth fighting for.

If you’d like to talk to an experienced wrongful death attorney right away, contact TJ Grimaldi. Request your free consultation to speak directly with TJ about the details of your case. Schedule your free consultation or call 813-226-1023 today.

Stand Your Ground Changes Have Wide Impact

A recent court decision has put the controversial “stand your ground” law back under the microscope. Passed in Florida in 2005, the law changes traditional self-defense guidelines immensely. “Stand your ground” eliminates the responsibility to retreat from dangerous situations and authorizes individuals to forcefully defend themselves to “prevent the commission of a forcible felony.” Since it’s passing there has been debate over consequences and convictions, and now, more concerns are surfacing.

A 2017 amendment reversing the burden of proof, is the origin of a state-wide disagreement. Originally, the burden of proof, or responsibility to prove one’s claim, was left to the defense. However, the amendment now leaves it up to the prosecution to refute a “stand your ground” claim. One contentious question that arises from this change is whether the change can be applied retroactively to active cases. Not all courts agree, as the Second District Court of Appeals has decided to apply the rule retroactively to various cases in Hillsborough and Pinellas County, while the Third District Court of Appeals, located in Miami, has deemed the amendment unconstitutional and has decided not to apply it retroactively.

These conflicting decisions mean that the final decision on retroactive application rests with the Florida Supreme Court; a process that could take as long as a year. Until the Florida Supreme Court reaches a decision, each district will handle cases as their district court has directed. In the meantime, there is a lot of uncertainty amongst defendants, victims, defense attorneys and prosecutors.

One of the first cases to apply the amended law is the Pinellas County trial of Bobby Ryan. Accused of taking part in a fight in 2016 that turned fatal, Ryan claimed a “stand your ground” defense under the new rules and prevailed. Although the charges against Mr. Ryan were dismissed, the Attorney General’s Office has appealed the decision because they do not believe that the law should be applied retroactively to crimes committed before June 9, 2017. While his case is under appeal, Mr. Ryan has cited great uncertainty for himself and his family as his fate is once again in the hands of the courts.

In Hillsborough County, Tymothy Ray Martin was previously convicted of felony battery against his girlfriend. He unsuccessfully attempted a “stand your ground” defense and was convicted. Martin’s attorneys appealed the conviction on the grounds that the amended law should apply to his case. The Second District Court of Appeals agreed, and Mr. Martin will get a second shot at a “stand-your-ground” defense.

Cases such as Martin’s raise concerns from both victims and prosecutors. Retrying cases that have already been decided carry heavy costs to the prosecution as time and expense must be allocated to retrying cases. Additionally, the necessity of reliving trials and the possibility of reversals can be very painful to victims.

Those in Pasco County are particularly curious about the long-standing case of retired Tampa police captain, Curtis Reeves. Reeves has been awaiting trial since he shot and killed Chad Oulson in a movie theatre in 2014, claiming a “stand your ground” defense. The judge did rule against him, rejecting his “stand your ground” defense. Unsurprisingly, his lawyers appealed the decision. Now, with the amendment in place, prosecutors, defenders and family members alike are unsure of what this means for Reeves or the Oulson family.

The decision of the Second District Court of Appeals impacts everyone involved in the case. For Curtis Reeves, the more time passes, the more time he will live free of any consequences for his actions. Oulson family attorney TJ Grimaldi stated, “An opportunity for a second chance at a stand your ground defense can only be seen as a win for Mr. Reeves and his attorneys.”

For the widow of Chad Oulson, this waiting game only adds to the suffering she experienced by losing her husband. Waiting for these decisions means anxiously anticipating another potential hearing, and more importantly, further delaying justice.

The individuals from the cases highlighted above are not the only ones who will be directly affected by this conflict. The uncertainty the amendment creates can be costly to the state itself and its citizens, and especially painful for both defendants and victims. It also impacts the dockets which will be pushed back for both the state and defense attorneys to focus on cases they had deemed done. The debate over this amendment is causing statewide chaos and is ultimately doing more harm than good. If you have any further questions, comments or concerns please comment below.

Should Police be required to wear body cameras?

Police Required to Wear body Cameras

It seems that nearly every day in the news, we hear about citizens having interactions with the police. Many of these interactions are positive, though there have been many documented cases where the public found the interactions disturbing, and those incidents have raised questions about how police conduct themselves in the field.

The police in Miami wear body cameras, as do the ones in Jacksonville and Orlando. In fact, body cameras are almost accepted as standard gear for police officers in Florida, except for one of the largest cities in the state – Tampa.

Attorney TJ Grimaldi is a strong supporter of police wearing body cameras and is urging the department to fund the program to equip every officer with a camera. As a personal injury attorney who has many years’ experience dealing in cases of wrongful death, he believes that body cams should be mandatory for police.

“I am all for cameras. They help solve questions, concerns, unknown issues and protect citizens,” Mr. Grimaldi says. “Further, they protect law enforcement and solidify evidence, testimony and opinions for all parties involved. They also help create a record of events that may otherwise be confused, forgotten, or simply made up down the road.”

In 2014, Jason Westcott’s home was raided by the Tampa Police Department and SWAT after an informant claimed he was selling drugs. According to police, Westcott brandished a firearm when they entered his home, and as a result, he was shot and killed on the spot. Police seized $2 worth of marijuana in Westcott’s home. Mr. Grimaldi now represents Westcott’s mother in a negligence lawsuit against the City of Tampa.

“For the Westcott case specifically, if law enforcement were wearing body cams, the footage could answer a lot of questions regarding Westcott’s placement, his possession of a gun, and what actually took place within the home, Mr. Grimaldi says. “This could have resulted in clear cut liability or solidified their claim of a lack of negligence which could have avoided litigation in this case, either way.”

Whether or not there is evidence to suggest that wearing a body camera would have any impact on crime rates, or how wearing a camera influences police decision-making and how officers engage with the public, making body cams mandatory could provide powerful information to supply answers to questions that otherwise remain unanswered.

The top 20 most dangerous roads in Tampa (Infographic)

Did you know that Florida is one of the most dangerous places in the country when it comes to deadly crashes involving pedestrians, cyclists, and motor vehicles? A study conducted by Smart Growth America found that Tampa Bay ranked #7 on the Pedestrian Danger Index. Even more concerning is that three roads in Tampa Bay are the deadliest in the entire state.

A report published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicated that over a ten-year period, from 2007 to 2016, Florida had one of the most significant increases in fatalities and alcohol-impaired driving fatalities. In 2016 alone, more than 3,100 lives were lost because of crashes. Unfortunately, that trend is likely to continue to grow.

“Collisions can be caused by a variety of factors,” says TJ Grimaldi, a Tampa personal injury attorney who works with clients in personal injury, DUI-related and wrongful death cases. “The driver could be distracted by their phone, adjusting the radio, or a pedestrian might have headphones playing loud music and not be aware of their surroundings.”

When you’re driving in your car or walking on the sidewalk, your surroundings and circumstances can change in a second. Every person using the road needs to practice more vigilance and adopt better practices for being safe on our roads. Here is a map of the top 20 most dangerous stretches of roadway in Tampa.

dangerous_roads_tampa

  1. Brandon Boulevard, from Falkenburg Road to Dover Road
  2. Gibsonton Drive, Boyette Road, Interstate 75 to Balm Riverview Road
  3. Hillsborough Avenue, Longboat Boulevard to Florida Avenue
  4. Fletcher Avenue, Armenia Avenue to 50th Street
  5. Dale Mabry Highway, Hillsborough Avenue to Bearss Avenue
  6. Lynn Turner Road, Gunn Highway to Ehrlich Road
  7. Meridian Avenue, Channelside Drive to Twiggs Street
  8. Bruce B. Downs, Fowler Avenue to Bearss Avenue
  9. 50th Street and 56th Street, Martin Luther King Boulevard to Hillsborough Avenue
  10. 15th Street, Fowler Avenue to Fletcher Avenue
  11. Big Bend Road, U.S. 41 to I-75
  12. U.S. 301, Interstate 75 to Adamo Drive
  13. Sheldon Road, Hillsborough Avenue to Waters Avenue
  14. Interstate 4, Interstate 275 to 22nd Street
  15. 56th Street, Sligh Avenue to Busch Boulevard
  16. Interstate 275, Howard Frankland Bridge to Busch Boulevard
  17. Kennedy Boulevard, Dale Mabry Highway to Ashley Drive
  18. 78th Street, Causeway Boulevard to Palm River Road
  19. Mango Road, Martin Luther King Boulevard to U.S. 92
  20. Florida Avenue, Waters Avenue to Linebaugh Avenue

If you have been hurt in a car crash, either as a pedestrian, cyclist, or motorist, contact a personal injury attorney immediately to evaluate your case and make sure your rights are protected. You have a right to be compensated for your injuries, and an attorney can help you fight the insurance companies to get a favorable outcome.

To learn more about what to do if you have been in an accident, contact the law firm of McIntyre Thanasides Bringgold Elliott Grimaldi Guito & Matthews, P.A at 844-511-4800.

Tampa attorney: Stand Your Ground law changes will cost more, endanger public safety

Stand your ground lawFlorida’s Stand Your Ground law, which allows potential victims to defend themselves forcefully if they have reason to fear death or serious injury, has made headlines since it was enacted in 2005. But key changes to the law promise higher prosecution costs and greater danger to the public, according to TJ Grimaldi, Tampa attorney and partner at the law firm of McIntyre Thanasides.

The original law gained notoriety through high-profile cases such as the killing of unarmed teen Trayvon Martin in 2012 and the 2014 shooting of Chad Oulson in a movie theater. Oulson’s killer faced a pretrial hearing earlier this year. Grimaldi represents the victim’s widow, Nicole Oulson.

Governor Rick Scott of Florida signed SB 128 into law on June 9. Under this new version of Stand Your Ground, the burden of proof shifts from the defendant to the prosecution. Supporters expect the shift in burden of proof to protect the rights of defendants, but opponents of the change raise serious concerns. They call SB 128 the “Shoot to Kill” bill, and argue it will place a greater financial burden on the prosecution, and result in an increased case load and more deaths by lethal action. Critics, Grimaldi among them, believe the new law will increase costs for state attorney’s offices, putting additional pressure on prosecution resources.

The negative public health effects of the existing law were already noted in a study published last January by the Journal of the American Medical Association, which concluded that gun-related homicides in Florida increased nearly 32 percent between 2005, when Stand Your Ground became law, and 2014.

“From a public health perspective, we were shocked that in a given area, rates of people dying changed so abruptly and in such a sustained way,” study co-author Douglas Wiebe told ScienceBlogs. “These are people dying who otherwise wouldn’t have died. That is what is most profound about our findings.” Wiebe is an associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine.

The revised law will result in more plea deals offered, charges dropped, or defendants escaping prosecution due to prosecutorial immunity, Grimaldi said. “Dangerous defendants will have a much better chance at walking free. The change will cost the State Attorney’s Office, and in the end, the citizens much more to prosecute crimes. The State Attorney’s Office has a budget. To force it to carry the burden whenever this defense is raised will require a business decision, because the office cannot handle the increased costs.”

Grimaldi is intimately involved in Stand Your Ground issues. He currently represents Nicole Oulson, widow of the man who was shot and killed in a suburban Tampa movie theater by Curtis Reeves in 2014. Reeves’s defense sought and was denied Stand Your Ground in a pretrial hearing last March. But now the law has changed.

Since the burden will now be on the prosecution, a defendant will have nothing to lose by raising a Stand Your Ground defense. The deck, Grimaldi said, will be more heavily stacked in favor of the defendant.

TJ Grimaldi is an attorney and partner at the law firm of McIntyre Thanasides Bringgold Elliott Grimaldi & Guito, P.A. He has been a featured expert on TV and in major publications, including Inside Edition, Crime Stories with Nancy Grace, Good Morning America, Nightline, The View, The New York Times, The Tampa Bay Times, and DailyMail.com.

To speak with Mr. Grimaldi regarding the recent changes in Stand Your Ground, contact him directly at tj@mcintyrefirm.com.

Victim of Assault? 3 Steps to Take Immediately

No one plans to become an assault victim, which is why many people are left confused or unsure what to do in the wake of an incident. According to the statements given by a psychiatrist, assaults cause both physical and mental trauma that can make it hard for victims to determine their next steps. If you or someone you know has been a victim of assault, immediately follow these three steps to ensure your safety and bring the attacker to justice.

Immediately Seek Medical Attention

The first step after any form of assault is to seek medical attention, even if you’re unsure about the extent of your wounds. Many problems don’t show immediate symptoms, and you could put your life at risk by avoiding medical care.

The professionals at McIntyre Thanasides are first and foremost concerned with your health and safety. Any other step can wait until medical professionals have treated any issues and deemed you healthy enough to leave their care.

Seeking medical attention immediately can also help your case in the future, as you will have documented proof of any effects the assault had on your physical and mental health.

Document Your Experience as Soon as Possible

After you are in a safe location and have received medical treatment, document the experience to the best of your ability. There are two important ways to do this:

  • Take photos or video. Images of your injuries and signs of a struggle can help the police and prosecutors understand your case.
  • Write down the entire experience. Include as much detail as possible. While it’s traumatic having to relive your ordeal, your memory is sharpest immediately after an assault.

After creating written and visual documents on the assault, you can return to these notes when you meet with police and prosecutors. The written record reduces the likelihood that you won’t remember a key detail or convince yourself that the situation was different than you thought.

Find an Experienced Attorney You Can Trust

In the wake of an assault, you’re likely to talk to dozens of medical professionals, law enforcement officers, and friends or family members. Knowing what steps to take can be confusing, and you could make mistakes that could hurt your case. By hiring a professional attorney who focuses on assault cases, you can make sure you’re making the right choices to bring your attacker to justice.

The longer you wait to complete these steps following an assault, the more you will struggle to make your case. If you need legal help following an assault, call the personal injury attorneys of McIntyre Thanasides at 844-511-4800 to discuss your case.