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A Personal Injury, Workers' Compensation and Defense Base Act Law Firm Fighting for the Injured.
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You probably already know that our passion is to help the injured! Let me give you a bit of background on how we arrived at this point.  As a child Attorney Hoffman watched her mother lay in bed suffering for months recovering from injuries suffered in a car accident where the vehicle was totalled.  Months later her mother received a call from the attorney who told her he had settled her case and she would receive $350. As a child Attorney Hoffman found that offensive. She vowed to spend her life fighting for those injured and vowed to not let this happen to anyone else.

Brandon’s Success Story.  A few years ago, Attorney Hoffman received a call about a fellow Hoosier who had been riding on his college fraternity’s float in a school parade. The float driver began to drive faster swerving the car from side to side. Two people were thrown from the float including Attorney Hoffman’s client who sustained a fractured skull with brain swelling.  IMG_14591-300x225

Learning of an accident like that is any mother’s nightmare, but lucky for Brandon, his mother was an experienced nurse. She flew in, came to his side, and approved him being put into a coma and a surgical procedure performed with a section of his skull removed so his brain swelling could subside. After a few months the brain swelling subsided, the skull flap was re-attached and the injured Hoosier began a long course of rehabilitation. Words are inadequate to describe the dramatic comeback  that Brandon made by following up with therapy, doctors and always striving to improve.  His success shows you that while brain injuries are terrible, you must always remain positive and belief in your ability to overcome the injuries and lead a normal life.

We tell you this so you understand that after terrible injuries, success stories can result. After months of litigation, Attorney Hoffman with the help of Attorneys Ariel Furst and Attorney Thomas Blackburn of Indiana was able to obtain a successful result where State Continue reading →

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Nuestro bufete de abogados les gusta encontrar casos de responsabilidad de terceras partes y obtener una resolucion monetaria para los clientes.  Sin embargo, no mentiriamos a un cliente acerca de su reclamacion de terceras partes. Para dejar en claro que nohay demandas pendientes válidas contra Triple Canopy y/o SOC. Esto incluye casos contra ellos por salarios no pagados o casos de denuncias (quitam). Los ex empleados de estas compañías no tienen la legitimidad para presentar estos casos en los Estados Unidos, lo que significa que no hay dinero que el cliente obtiene en estos casos. El único caso exitoso contra Triple Canopy fue presentado por el gobierno de los Estados Unidos. Este caso fue basado en la información proporcionada por un ex empleado que documentó que Triple Canopy le había cobrado excesivamente al gobierno de los Estados Unidos. Este caso se basó en el hecho de que los guardias contratados por Triple Canopy no podían pasar una prueba de armas de fuego y falsificaban puntajes de pruebas para guardias no calificados, por lo que el gobierno de los Estados Unidos, recibió una sobrecarga por el nivel de habilidad de los guardias.

IMG_6201-300x225Hemos revisado los contratos y hemos recibido información de que a nuestros clientes y otros guardias heridos o lesionados en zonas de guerra se les esta pidiendo que paguen dinero a abogados en Perú porque harán reclamaciones de terceras personas. Esto no está permitido bajo la ley de los Estados Unidos. La Ley de Base de Defensa (DBA) es una ley que permite a los trabajadores lesionados, mientras que bajo contrato con un contratista estadounidense para recuperarse de lesiones documentadas médicamente, tales como la pérdida de audición, problemas psiquiátricos, lesiones físicas y salarios perdidos; Pero no de dolor y sufrimiento. No existe un caso de terceros para los trabajadores lesionados en Perú. No pedimos al trabajador que pague dinero por adelantado y no debe pagar por adelantado a ningun abogado o a su acuerdo. Recientemente hemos oído rumores de que un abogado de Perú garantizará un establecimiento $85.000 en un caso de terceras partes. Un trabajador lesionado no debe dar el dinero que le hemos obtenido en su resolucion monetaria a ningun abogado que este tratando de perseguir una demanda de terceras partes en el Perú. Hemos visto un contrato de un abogado de Perú que garantiza al cliente un 1 millón de dólares y les pide que le paguen dinero, esto no es correcto. No se dejen engañar por esto y no regale su dinero por la cual hemos trabajado tan diligentemente para conseguirlo.

 

 

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This firm likes to find third party liability cases and obtain settlements for the clients. However, we will not lie to a client about their having a third party claim. Just to be clear there are no valid pending lawsuits against Triple Canopy and/or SOC. This includes cases against them for unpaid wages or whistleblower (quitam) cases. The former employees of these companies do not have standing to bring these cases in the USA which means there is no money the client will obtain on these cases. The only successful case against Triple Canopy was filed by the U.S. Government based on information given by a former employee who documented the U.S. Government was overcharged by Triple Canopy. This was based in the fact the guards Triple Canopy hired could not pass a firearms test and falsified test scores for unqualified guards and thus the U.S. Government was overbilled for the skill level of the guards. Here is the link to the Justice Department:

IMG_6201-300x225I have reviewed contracts and received information that our clients and other guards injured in war zones are being asked to pay money to attorneys in Peru who will make third party  claims. This is not allowed under U.S. Law. Understand the DBA is a law that allows workers injured while under contract to an American contractor to recover for medically documented injuries such as hearing loss, psychiatric issues, physical injuries and lost wages; but not pain and suffering. There is no 3rd party case to be made for the injured workers in Peru.  We do not ask for the worker to pay money up front and you should not give any attorney money up front nor from your settlement. Recently I have heard rumors that a Peru attorney will guarantee an $85,000 settlement on a 3rd party case.  An injured worker should not give up the money we obtain for them on their settlements by signing any part of it away to an attorney pursuing a 3rd party lawsuit in Peru. We have actually seen a contract distributed by a Peru attorney which states he guarantees the client that signs his form a million dollars plus he asks them to pay him money. This is not proper and there will be no settlement of $1,000,000 nor $85,000 based on lawsuits filed in Peru.  Do not fall for this and do not give away your money that we work so diligently to obtain for you.

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We welcome our new clients in Puerto Rico as we are now open for business at 1519 Juan Ponce de Leon Ave. #510, San Juan PR 00909-1715 only 12 minutes from the Airport. I’ll explain why we opened to help those working there.

IMG_5406-e1526405710868-225x300In 2004, a very bad hurricane hit Florida. We had windows blown out of our office and we were without power for nine days at our house. An electrical pole had fallen across our street so no service vehicles could get to us. We would be nine days without power. During that time we got to know all the neighbors as we shared food and grilled outside. One neighbor siphoned gas from a boat to run the generators for homes on the street. It was a camping out experience where you learned to treasure a hot shower at a friend’s, were amazed by all the stars in the sky at night visible without electricity, and where you worked diligently to board up broken glass. You danced for joy at seeing a power truck on your street. We learned to share, be grateful, and have patience.
In 2017, my single largest donation was to the Red Cross after seeing the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. I chose that charitable organization after my cousin Amy described her experience with the Red Cross. You see Cousin Amy was on the United Airlines crash in Sioux City where 1/3 of the people perished. The plane had broken into three parts. She ended up in a section that came to rest upside down in a corn field. “When we walked away from the crash with only the clothes on our back, having the Red Cross there with warm clothes, and blankets is something you’ll never forget.” Continue reading →

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Para aquellos trabajadores que han sido enviados a las zonas de guerra, y han descubierto que tiene lesiones una vez que regresaron a su casa, incluso si esta en un país diferente. Si usted tiene dificultad para escuchar por haber estado expuesto a bombardeos o experimenta pesadillas o reacciones de sobresalto a ruidos fuertes, es necesario que busque tratamiento médico en su propio país. Hasta que no vea a un doctor no podemos hacer una reclamación por usted. Una vez que vea al médico, usted necesita enviarnos toda la documentacion de apoyo como los registros médicos. Solo asi podemos presentar su reclamo.

Ear-1-300x200Usted puede obtener mas detalles en mi foro de informacion acerca del DBA( Defense Base Act).

Este bufete de abogados representa a los trabajadores que han perdido sus honorarios bajo el contrato de empleo. Les estamos enviando una solicitud (LS200 Report of Earnings). Favor de llenarla, ya que permitira que el empleado que ha sido lesionado pueda documentar sus honorarios perdidos y sus problemas fisicos o psiquiatricos, desde que dejo de trabajar. Por otra parte también permitiria a la compañia de seguro calcular sus ingresos debidamente en acorde con sus lesiones. Continue reading →

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For those workers who have been sent to war zones to work, you may discover you have injuries once you return to your home even if in a different country.  When you are having difficulty hearing from being exposed to bombing or experiencing nightmares or startle responses to loud noises, you should seek medical treatment in your own country.  Until you see a doctor we cannot make a claim for you.  Once you see the doctor we will need to see those medical records.  We can then file a Claim and I discuss that in my other blogs.

This firm represents many injured workers who have lost wages since their last employment when they were under contract to work. I want to provide access to the form you will need to complete to have your lost wages considered. The form is called an LS200 Report of Earnings. What it does is allow the injured worker to document his earnings since the time he lost his employment where his injury is ongoing as with spinal physical injuries or psychiatric injuries.  This is important because this documentation allows the insurance company to calculate the wage loss of the injured worker.

IMG_4604-e1522095418631-150x150Let me explain it with an example. Say when you were working you earned $200 per week.  Your psychiatric injuries have prevented you from working for 6 months of the twelve months since you lost your employment. Your lost wage benefit is payable at  2/3 of your $200 per week earning or $133.33 per week.  If you lost 6 months of wages you are eligible for 26 weeks times $133.33 or $3,466.58 but you must complete the earnings form so the proper calculation can be made.

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When our firm received a call that a worker pulling up plywood on a new townhouse construction project had died, we went to the scene. In St. Petersburg, FL we were able to canvas the site and find the building permits to identify the company to pursue for death benefits.  Learning from the employer that he did not care about the death and would not pay benefits, only increased our desire to obtain benefits for the children of the deceased.  Every life has benefit and every life deserves respect.  This firm spoke with the owner of the project who agreed to contact the employer about the accident.

IMG_4410-e1521756625851-225x300Javier Ruiz from our firm filed a claim for benefits in the State of Florida Workers Compensation Courts and after one year of litigation a settlement was reached which had to be approved through the Guardianship Court as the deceased was survived by three minor children. In the State of Florida, $150,000.00 is the maximum payment for an on the job death. After obtaining Court approvals these proceeds can be disburse to help raise 3 minor children who are forever without the aid and support of their father.

It is our unwavering commitment to those who have no voice that drives our passion to help.  We travel and fight for those who would be left without a voice, left without a remedy.  We are a better society for helping those that come here to help us perform our construction.  These are people who work to have money to send home for their children. We will not ignore indigent children because they have to eat, grow and learn all without a father who worked until his death to support them.

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Florida has experienced the tremendous loss associated with the Parkland shooting which is now among the 10 deadliest mass shootings in America. It is time for us to come together and implement change so these mass shootings stop.

Many people are coming up with ideas. I have been encouraged by the Governor’s recommendation to restrict the age at individual can buy AR rifles to 21 although 25 would be better.  I like the idea of banning AR rifles altogether, but what do we do with the ones that exist?

I like the idea of better background checks and stopping the availability of AR rifles to those with mental illness. We need to be able to stop an evil person who has an AR rifle and starts threatening people before he acts.  We should be able to arrest and incarcerate them at that point and confiscate the AR rifle(s).  We want to allow police to proactively arrest an evil person seeking to kill one or more with his AR rifle before he strikes.

DSC00817-291x300I want to share an important lesson I learned when I was a young law student. I defended a minor who was charged with the burglary of a home. I was successful in defending the case and winning the trial for him. As a result of that he was released from juvenile court jail and I went on my Christmas vacation. When I returned, I learned he went out before Christmas and killed two people at random coming out of the shopping mall.  That was a true wake up call for me and I realized it would not be my calling to go into criminal defense. It made me realize that an evil person will always do evil even when given a second chance, put in a loving home or given help.  They will look at you, do evil and say, “You knew I was evil when you tried to help me.”

I see that when there is a tragedy such as a mass shooting there is focus on why the person did it.  Was he not schooled properly, not given enough help and so on? It may be interesting to look back but inevitably the person was evil and would commit an atrocious act in the future.
People might say, “He was a ticking time bomb,”   “I knew he would shoot up the school someday.” He had a screw loose.” Ok let’s say all those things were known to be true.
Law enforcement can do nothing. Why?  They can’t arrest people on possibilities, on crazy likelihoods or suspicions unless the person has put his plan into words written or spoken.  Remember the Las Vegas shooter never exposed his plan.  So what we need to do is give law enforcement the ability to prevent these tragedies from continuing to occur.
That is why I put my idea out as The Simple Solution. Continue reading →
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Longshore benefits are available to workers injured on recreational yachts over 65 feet and to those working on towboats or tugboats of any size per 33 USC 902 which is the Longshore statute.  When the injury occurs on such a maritime vehicle, the questions are 1. what benefits are available and 2. what caused the injury.  Let’s discuss the benefits that are available first.

IMG_3790-300x225Now under the Longshore statute, the injured worker will receive 2/3rd of the injured worker’s gross 52 week average of pay up to a maximum of $1,471.78 per week in 2018. If the accident caused death, then the family will receive $3,000 in funeral expenses PLUS compensation pursuant to 33 USC Section 906-909. This means the wife will receive 50% of the average wage of the decedent up to the maximum (presently $1,471.81 per week.) If there is one or more children an additional 16 2/3% will be paid again up to the maximum weekly compensation rate. The definition of children includes adopted children, stepchildren, an acknowledged child born out of wedlock,  or a child born after the death  of the injured worker. The widow’s benefits will terminate with her remarriage except for a two year stipend of compensation that will be paid in a lump sum.  In the case of remarriage, the remaining children would then receive additional compensation. If one child then that child would receive 50% of the worker’s average wage and if there are additional children then all together the children will receive benefits equal to 66 2/3 %  of the worker’s average weekly pay.  Now the benefits paid to a minor  child do not continue forever as they end when the child turns 18 or if the child is a student pursuing full time school their weekly benefits can be paid up to age 23.

If the deceased worker leaves no surviving spouse or child, then benefits will be paid to those DEPENDENT relatives including grandchildren, brothers or sisters or parents or any other person satisfying the definition of dependent under 26 USC 152.  These people must prove the injured worker contributed to their living expense in some way, ie rent, cash, payment of bills, place to live, or the like.

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Tourists, visitors to Florida, and city pedestrians: Please realize there is a high incidence of pedestrians knockdown accidents and bicyclists being struck by cars in Florida. As a City, Fort Lauderdale is ranked last in terms of safety. These are reasons to look all ways and be super careful when crossing a street even if you have the right of way.  You can be dead right in Florida and often the person who hit you has no insurance to pay for your injuries. Florida has more uninsured drivers than any other state.

FullSizeRender_4-300x257Why is this? Well Florida has no upper age limit on drivers and it has a lot of elderly people who drive to get around.  Florida also has many tourists who drive and are unfamiliar with Florida traffic and laws.  Consider that all rental cars are only required to provide $10,000 in Bodily Injury Liability Insurance.  Worse yet Florida does not require drivers to carry ANY Bodily Injury Liability Insurance. That is correct only Property Damage Liability and PIP are required by Statute.  Unless the driver caused prior injuries in which case he is required to have Bodily Injury liability insurance which the driver can’t afford so they drive with no insurance.

People with multiple accidents, drug or alcohol addiction or serious illnesses may not be able to buy affordable auto insurance and thus will drive with no insurance. Only uninsured motorist coverage will protect you and your family member for these injuries. Uninsured motorist coverage is construed broadly and covers your entire family household.

PIP which is also called Florida’s No-Fault law provides $10,000 in payment of medical bills and lost wages for injuries caused by a car accident where the person is a pedestrian or a bicyclist. The Florida Law recently required that the injured person obtain medical treatment within 14 days of the accident for PIP to pay. When the doctor opines there is a emergency medical condition, the full $10,000  in PIP can be paid. Most people don’t realize their PIP or medical payments coverage will pay for their injuries in Florida when they live out of state, out of country or are just visiting.

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