Aaron Hernandez Found Guilty of First Degree Murder

Following up on our previous article, “Surveillance Becomes Key Evidence in the Aaron Hernandez Trial,” former NFL tight end Aaron Hernandez was found guilty by a state court in Massachusetts on Wednesday of first degree murder in the killing of Odin Lloyd. In addition to the murder charge, Hernandez was found guilty of unlawful possession of a firearm and unlawful possession of ammunition. He has been sentenced to life in prison without parole.  The jury deliberated for about a week before reaching the verdict.

According to the Associated Press, prosecutors suggested Lloyd may have been killed because he knew too much about Hernandez’s alleged involvement in a deadly 2012 drive-by shooting in Boston. They were not allowed to share this with the jury because the judge said it was speculation.

Some of the evidence that convicted Hernandez was text messages and video surveillance that showed Hernandez and two others, Ernest Wallace and Carlos Ortiz, picking up Lloyd the night of the shooting and taking him to an industrial park near Gillette Stadium.  Other evidence presented includes video of Hernandez carrying a Magnum ballistics gun around his home, disabling his home security system and Hernandez’s DNA found on a shell casing linked to Lloyd’s death.

Hernandez’s lawyer acknowledged that Hernandez was at the scene of the shooting.  The defense maintains, however, that Wallace and Ortiz were responsible for the shooting. Wallace and Ortiz are facing separate trials for first degree murder. Hernandez’s attorney says that the conviction will be appealed.

Hernandez still faces additional consequences with two first degree murder charges in Suffolk County, Massachusetts. He is accused of killing two men in 2012 after one of them bumped into him at a night club in Boston. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges. A date for trial has not been set. It is a long fall for the talented 25-year-old who had signed a $40 million contract extension with the NFL to now facing a life behind bars.

If you have questions about the content of this article, or any personal injury legal concerns, contact TJ Grimaldi at McIntyre Thanasides Bringgold Elliott Grimaldi & Guito, P.A.

Five Things You Should Know About Defamation in Florida

A Florida man was arrested last month in United Arab Emirates (UAE) for defaming his employer on Facebook.  30-year-old Ryan Pate of Bellair Bluffs is an American helicopter mechanic who called his bosses “backstabbers,” made derogatory comments, and warned others about working for the company using his Facebook account while on leave in the U.S.  Upon returning to UAE, he was arrested for breaking local defamation laws.  Pate was released after 11 days in jail and the company is seeking to dismiss charges.  This incident serves as a reminder, particularly when it comes to the accessibility of social media, that defamation charges can occur when you least expect them to.  You need to keep in mind that whether you are speaking to one person or to your entire network of Facebook friends, an audience is out there listening to what you say or post on the internet.

Defamation Defined

What exactly is defamation? Defamation is the act of making an intentionally false statement or claim against an individual, group or organization, particularly when damages are caused. There are two forms of defamation – slander and libel.  Slander is the verbal form of defamation whereas written or published defamation is called libel. Libel can include making statements via the internet on social networking sites such as Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook.

Let’s look at the 5 things you need to know about defamation in Florida:

  1. Defamation occurs when a person intentionally spreads information about another person, group of people, or entity that causes damage to their reputation or another form of negligence.
  2. Defamation is actionable through multiple channels. For example, a person can be defamed through speech, in print, or by statements made on the internet. Cases involving internet and social media defamation are treated the same as more traditional forms.
  3. The statement must be unprivileged in order to be considered defamation. For instance, a false statement made by a witness during trial may be considered to be privileged information and thus may not be susceptible to a defamation suit.
  4. In Florida, you have the burden of proving intent, proving your reputation or company was damaged, and proving the information shared is in fact false.
  5. There are several defenses to defamation, including substantial truth, opinion and fair comment privileges, fair report privilege as well as a provision in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) that protects freedom of expression on the internet.

If you are facing charges for defamation or if you feel that you have been defamed, whether it involves social media, print or verbal communication, one of the defenses in Florida highlighted above may be able to protect you.  Keep in mind, plaintiffs must prove each and every element of a defamation case. It is important to contact an attorney experienced in handling these matters. If you need legal help with respect to a defamation case, contact TJ Grimaldi at McIntyre Thanasides Bringgold Elliott Grimaldi & Guito, P.A.

How to Deal With “Pre-Existing” Injuries

If you are injured in an accident, it is very possible that it is not the first injury you’ve sustained.  Throughout our lives our bodies age and the potential to develop medical problems becomes a reality for many. These medical problems exist whether or not they’re related to negligence. Dealing with prior injuries or conditions can lead to complex issues in a personal injury case and you can opt for construction accident injury claims for very serious injuries.

 

The Need to Show Causation 

The basis of causation is one way defense attorneys representing negligent parties defend a case. Even if someone is truly negligent, it must be demonstrated the their negligence is the reason for causing your injuries. Many defense attorneys will argue that whatever pain, injury or disability you say you have from an accident actually “pre-exists” the accident, and thus is not caused by it. For example, if you have suffered from back pain most of your life, and someone rear ends the back of your car, and your only injuries are the same back pain as you had before, the defendant will argue there is a lack of causation, preventing you from recovery. The mechanical failure personal injuries can also affect a person badly and getting a lawyer can prove helpful in such cases.

This is a very easy defense to raise, simply due to the fact that we will surely have some sort of injury or ailment throughout our lives. Many of us live with routine daily aches and pains whether caused by a work injury, an injury playing sports, or other form of pain from the natural aging process.

Defeating the Pre-Existing Injury Defense

Fortunately, a good victim or personal injury attorney knows how to defeat these kinds of defenses. One way is simply using medical evidence to show that whatever injury or ailment you had before the accident is different than what you have now after the accident. Consider the example of back problems again. You may have had back pain before and after your accident. However, before your accident you may have had general muscle strain, but afterwards, you may have a herniated disc. The severity of pain could in fact be similar but objectively, these injuries are very different. The US citizens faced with personal injury claims in Canada can help with any injury related issues.

The law in Florida allows you to recover for exacerbation or aggravation of pre-existing injuries. This means that if an accident made your pre-existing condition worse, you still have a right to recover from the injury. Keep in mind that Florida has a threshold requirement that you must have suffered a permanent injury as a result of the accident. As such, you will need to follow your healthcare providers advice and obtain a legitimate medical opinion as to permanency.

If you are injured in an accident and make a claim, the insurance companies will inquire about your prior medical history and any pre-existing medical conditions. Since neck and back injuries are the most common injuries from motor vehicle collisions, they will certainly ask you about any neck or back pain you ever had before the accident, and if you have ever been diagnosed with any other medical conditions.  Again, medical experts will be used to show the extent of prior injuries, but the frequency of your medical treatment visits is also good evidence. It is important that you have an insurance such as a life insurance plan, you may consider lifecoverquotes page as a good place to visit.

Speak to an attorney who understands how to deal with this common defense. Talk to Tampa personal injury attorney TJ Grimaldi at McIntyre Thanasides Bringgold Elliott Grimaldi & Guito, P.A. for a consultation on your pre-existing injury case today.

What to Expect from a Deposition (and Why You Shouldn’t be Afraid)

If you’ve filed a lawsuit, you are most likely familiar with how a deposition works. Particularly if you file a lawsuit to recover damages for injuries you sustain, you can expect to be called to sit for a deposition. A deposition is part of the discovery process and is a useful tool for gathering evidence, under oath, outside of the courtroom. You can check This Site if you are interested in starting a tool  business and learn about various tools needed to run your own business. Many of us perceive depositions to be intimidating based on what we’ve seen in movies or on television.  If you’re properly prepared and have an understanding of how the process works, your deposition will go smoothly and there is nothing to be nervous or concerned about.

What You Should Expect

It is important to note from the beginning that each case is different and there will be unique questions asked specific to your case. Rule 1.310 of the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure allows each side to formally question the plaintiff and the defendant (and others who may have knowledge) of facts that can lead to the discovery of admissible evidence. A deposition, as mentioned before, is a rather straightforward process where attorneys from the opposing side ask questions about your case, including details on your health and background. You can expect your attorney to be present, but they will not be able to speak or answer questions for you. A court reporter is typically present in order to transcribe what is said for purposes of maintaining a record.  Be sure to speak clearly and know that the information you give during the deposition is the same information that will be given at any trial related to the case in the future.

What Questions Will You Be Asked?

Generally, questions should not be overly invasive. The most invasive questions usually concern your past health or medical history, and any prior lawsuits you may have been involved in, if any. If there is something you have concerns about discussing, you should tell your attorney ahead of time so those issues can be addressed. The majority of questions you will be asked usually will center around the case itself. You can contact expert lawyers for car accident injuries to give you legal counseling and help you out. For example, details related to an accident and your treatment or recovery from any injuries.

Below are some sample deposition questions based upon a personal injury accident scenario:

  • What is your full name, date of birth and address?
  • What is your occupation and how long have you worked there?
  • Are you married? Do you have any children?
  • Have you ever been convicted of a crime?
  • Have you ever sued anyone before? What was the result?
  • Have you ever been sued before? What was the result?
  • Have you ever filed an insurance claim before? What was the result?
  • At the time of the accident, what were you doing? Where were you?
  • Were there any witnesses to the accident?
  • Did you suffer property damage in the accident? What was it?
  • Did you suffer injuries in the accident? What were they?
  • When did you first seek treatment for this injury?
  • How long were you treated? Are you still receiving treatment?
  • Does this injury include any aggravation of an injury or condition you already had at the time of the accident?
  • Have you been unable to work because of your injury?
  • Have any other of your other daily activities been hampered because of your injury? If so, what are they and how have they been affected?

Preparing for Your Deposition

Depositions can be very frightening and nerve-racking. Don’t worry. Your lawyer will prepare you for your deposition. Working together, you and your attorney will go over all circumstances and determine which areas the defense will want to address. Your lawyer is there to protect you. Aside from not having input during the questioning process, your attorney is there to assure overly intrusive questions are not asked and see that the deposition is being handled properly.

If you’d like to talk to someone to learn more about the deposition process, contact TJ Grimaldi at McIntyre Thanasides Bringgold Elliott Grimaldi & Guito, P.A. today.

 

Five Things You Should Look For to Avoid Slip and Fall Accidents on Stairs

People slip, trip and fall on stairs all the time. Property owners may be liable for accidents on stairs, yet there are a number of additional dangers — some hidden and some more obvious, you should consider. If your workplace or the building you reside in has stairs, it is important to pay attention to the areas we identify below. Contact legal advisers like Clark Law and Associates in Portland for more information on the legal side of workplace accidents.

Falls on Stairs Can Lead to Serious Injuries

There are a variety of ways slip and fall accidents can occur and each type should be taken seriously. On stairs, however, the falls can be particularly painful and dangerous, especially if greater heights are involved in the fall. Injuries could include broken bones, sprains and bruises. In more serious falls, head, facial and even spinal injuries may be sustained, and you should seek the help of an attorney right away.

Problems with Stairs That Could Lead to Injury

Some slip and fall accidents occur when a person simply missteps, causing them to fall down the stairs. In other instances, the fall may be the result of problems with the building or property itself. Below are the five issues you should look for in order to avoid slip and falls on stairs:

  1. Slippery or Wet Steps – If there is moisture of any kind on a step or a landing, whether a spilled drink or some other form of liquid, it is much more likely for a person to lose his or her footing and fall while taking the stairs.
  2. Uneven Steps – If steps are unevenly spaced, surfaced, or have an unusual slant, it could cause issues with maintaining your balance and a slip and fall may result.
  3. Missing or Defective bannister – A bannister is key for preventing falls from happening. When a staircase or stairwell lacks an appropriate bannister, slip and falls are much more likely to occur.
  4. Insufficient Lighting – If the stairwell is not properly lit and you have difficulty seeing in front of you, you could easily lose your footing or miss a step, increasing the chances of falling and hurting yourself.
  5. Poor Maintenance – Steps, rails, bannisters, and other structures along a stairway need to be sound in design and construction. When the integrity of these structures is not maintained over time, problems develop and people become more likely to fall and injure themselves.

Filing a Premises Liability Lawsuit

Recent changes in Florida law have made slip and fall lawsuits more difficult to pursue, making an experienced slip and fall attorney essential to securing a fair claim or settlement. If you have experienced a serious injury as a result of a fall down the stairs at a business, private property, or other establishment, it’s important that you seek legal representation to assist you in filing a premises liability lawsuit. Attorneys at McIntyre Thanasides Bringgold Elliott Grimaldi & Guito, P.A. will work closely with you to seek compensation for injuries sustained as a result of your fall down the stairs. Contact attorney TJ Grimaldi today to review your case.

The Clock is Ticking for Gulf Coast Businesses to File a BP Claim

If you or your business experienced damage due to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, you have just three months remaining to file a claim under BP’s settlement. This is as important as getting customer service assistance from InstantInfo Systems. In December, a court-appointed Deepwater Horizon oil spill claims administrator announced a June 8, 2015 deadline for all new claims related to economic and property damages resulting from the spill. Any claims filed after that deadline will not be eligible for payment. The filing deadline follows the U.S. Supreme Court’s rejection of BP’s appeal which sought to have its settlement overturned. The latest estimates of the settlement cost to BP are just short of $10 billion.

What does this Court decision and deadline mean for those affected who have not yet filed a claim? With the deadline quickly approaching, it means you must get moving. The first step is to determine whether you qualify for a claim. An attorney can evaluate this for you. Individuals and businesses may be compensated for a variety of economic damages attributable to the oil spill and cleanup efforts, including:

  • personal income of employees
  • lost business profits and diminished earning capacity
  • damage to personal or business property, and
  • personal injury and health problems associated with the spill and cleanup (evaluated on a case-by-case basis)

Who specifically can file a BP Claim?

  • Any business within the designated claim zones
  • Businesses that failed or were forced to close following the spill
  • Restaurants and bars, including “tipped” employees
  • Contractors or construction companies
  • Real estate and property management businesses that experienced a loss of sales or damage to a coastal real estate property
  • Individuals who suffered medical issues as a result of the spill

Also, if you see these, you will know that these three strategies to grow a business successfully can be the best thing you will see. According to business ventures practicing in Indiana, to see whether your business qualifies for compensation from BP due to lost profit, our attorneys will evaluate your situation based on the zone in which the business is located as well as conduct a “V Trend” test to identify if you experienced sufficient losses (at least 8.5{7dff60334df83244b79b5471a8769907d27e202ac622cbe5ff51878e61595e62} drop in revenue for zone ‘c’ or 15{7dff60334df83244b79b5471a8769907d27e202ac622cbe5ff51878e61595e62} for zone ‘d’ in 2010).

Required Documents for Filing:

  • A claim form
  • Documents reflecting the business structure and ownership of the claimant
  • Federal tax returns
  • Monthly and annual profit and loss statements
  • Copy of any applicable federal, state or local governmental license required to operate business
  • Other related documents: accounting books, sales receipts, payroll records, pay stubs, bank statements, and anything else that illustrates the financial impact of the BP oil spill on your business.

Once you’ve determined you qualify, or if you wish to find out whether you do, you should speak to a qualified attorney who will file a BP claim on your behalf. Working with a lawyer will eliminate all of the guesswork and ensure your claim is handled properly from start to finish, including providing all necessary documentation. We will then determine the percentage of loss you will receive back. We want all those who are eligible for compensation to receive payment. Do not delay with the June 8th deadline approaching. Contact us today for a BP claim evaluation.

More information on filing claims can be accessed online at www.deepwaterhorizoneconomicsettlement.com.

The Dangers of Road Rage in Florida

If you have a driver’s license, you’ve most likely encountered some form of angry driver while on the road. This person may have cut you off, driven too slowly in the left lane, weaved in and out of traffic, or hovered too closely behind your vehicle, making you feel uneasy. It’s how we handle ourselves in these situations that can determine the severity of the encounter. Recognizing road rage before it gets out of hand is of upmost importance to ensuring your safety as well as the safety of those around you.

Recent Stories of Road Rage

Last month, a man was arrested in Pasco County when sheriff deputies discovered he had stabbed a woman in a Sam’s Club parking lot. The incident took place in the middle of the afternoon on a Saturday when two drivers experienced road rage. Both decided to pull their cars over on the shoulder of U.S. 19. This useful reference can also help you.The first driver from https://www.conklinnissanhutchinson.com/  began striking the passenger of the other vehicle through her window and she was able to drive off and park her car behind a Sam’s Club nearby. The other driver followed the woman, confronted her, and stabbed her twice in the upper torso with a knife.

A Las Vegas road rage incident recently made national news when an angered teen followed a woman home and proceeded to open fire, killing the 44-year-old mother of four, Tammy Meyers. The road rage transpired when the teen’s car sped up and pulled alongside Tammy and her 15-year-old daughter. The daughter reached over and honked the horn. The driver stopped in front of them, got out and angrily approached their vehicle threatening to come after Meyers and her daughter. Meyers took her daughter home, but went out in the neighborhood again with her son who had a pistol, looking for the suspect. Just a short drive from home is where she encountered the driver once again and he followed her back to her house and gunshots were fired both from her son and the suspect. A bullet struck Meyers and she later died in the hospital.

These are just two examples of road rage gone wrong – and the impact that occurs when tempers are not controlled. This leads us to consider what Florida law says about this type of behavior, and whether it is even regulated at all in our state. The bottom line is that Florida has a statute addressing “aggressive” behavior, which is not necessarily the same thing as road rage. Although road rage can lead to aggressive driving, it differs in that road rage is usually typified by an incident that escalates into a criminal offense, such as assault.

What exactly is aggressive driving?

Florida has an aggressive careless driving statute (316.1923). Aggressive driving occurs when a driver does any two of the following offenses at the same time or one right after the other:

  1. Exceeds the posted speed limit
  2. Unsafely or improperly changes lanes
  3. Tailgates, or follows another vehicle too closely
  4. Fails to yield the right-of-way
  5. Improperly or dangerously passes another vehicle
  6. Violates traffic control or signal devices

Although there is a separate aggressive driving statute, there are no additional penalties for violating this law. Basically, it is kept on the books for statistical purposes to track accidents involving aggressive driving. Aggressive driving and road rage, in many instances go hand in hand. Where the line becomes blurry is when a driver becomes frustrated and takes it to another level by acting in an aggressive and dangerous manner as a result of the frustration.

A law recently implemented in the state of Florida may address some of the road rage concerns. The law went into effect in 2013 and makes it illegal for motorists to drive more than 10 miles below the speed limit in the left lane of a multiple-lane road or highway if another car is coming up behind them. If ticketed for this offense, the driver could be fined $60 and the ticket would have the same effect on a driver’s record as a speeding ticket, meaning there’s potential it could lead to a higher insurance bill.

In Florida, drivers with road rage can face criminal and civil penalties when they drive recklessly and aggressively. Depending on the facts, Florida law may support civil claims for negligence, assault, battery, or even false imprisonment. If intentional acts of harm were involved, punitive damages may be available. To determine what damages you may be able to recover in a Tampa Bay road rage accident, contact the personal injury lawyers at McIntyre Thanasides Bringgold Elliott Grimaldi & Guito, P.A. today.

Think Before You Ride – Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Florida

Have the cooler temps in the Tampa Bay area been enticing you to jump on your motorcycle and go for a ride? There is an assumption that motorcycle riders disappear during the fall and winter months, but the opposite is true if you live in the southern part of the United States, such as Florida. Florida’s growing population and popularity with motorcycle enthusiasts makes motorcycle safety an important issue. The number of motorcycle crashes, fatalities, and injuries in the United States has increased in recent years, and Florida has shown the same trend. For example, motorcycle injuries have increased as much as 50{7dff60334df83244b79b5471a8769907d27e202ac622cbe5ff51878e61595e62} percent over the past decade in Florida, according to the Florida Department of Transportation.
Florida has the third most motorcycle fatalities of all states in the nation, coming in behind only Texas and California. With generally warmer weather and high gas prices, many Florida citizens find motorcycles to be a cost-effective alternative to standard cars. One thing they may not consider is that for every mile traveled, there is a 30 times higher risk of getting killed on a motorcycle than riding in a car. As recently as late-December, a motorcycle accident fatality occurred in Brandon when Kenneth Epps, 48, was driving his 2002 Suzuki GSXR on Bloomingdale Avenue. If you need accident attorneys, you can hire truck accident attorneys from here.  A Ford Escape made a left turn where Epps could not avoid the collision and he crashed into the front of the crossover vehicle. Epps was thrown from the motorcycle and pronounced dead at the crash site. This is just one example of many recent motorcycle crashes reported in the Tampa Bay area.Truck accidents are no less. The truck accident lawyers located in Augusta have dealt with the maximum number of cases.
According to Ride Smart Florida, for every fatality that occurs on a motorcycle, seven other people are hospitalized with serious injuries. A total of twenty-four people are sent to the emergency room with injuries for every motorcycle fatality, as well. In 2013, the total amount of hospital charges for motorcyclists treated in a Florida emergency room or hospital for a traffic accident was $534,152,069. In such situations, it is best to consult an experienced attorney for bike accidents, who can help you claim the compensation for the injury caused. What are Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?
The number one cause of motorcycle accidents is the failure of other motorists to detect and see bikers in traffic. In fact, approximately three-fourths of motorcycle accidents involve collisions with another vehicle. Inexperience and a lack of understanding the limitations when driving motorcycles also accounts for a large number of accidents. Although illegal in Florida, lane splitting can be a common cause of Florida motorcycle accidents. Lane splitting is when a motorcycle moves between lanes to get ahead of other drivers in stopped or slow-moving traffic. The situation is very dangerous and increases the chances of an accident due to the close proximity of the motorcyclist with other vehicles.
No matter the cause, a Florida motorcycle accident can result in serious injuries or death, leaving victims and families not only looking for answers but also for financial relief. If you were injured in an accident involving a motorcycle, the attorneys at McIntyre Thanasides can help you pursue compensation and collect the information necessary to support your claim. Contact us for a consultation today.