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Daniel Jensen, Up and Coming Trial Lawyer: A Voice for Victims

“It is an incredibly rewarding experience to stand up for what’s right and be the voice for those who have been harmed.” This was the response from our newest associate, Daniel Jensen, when asked to reflect on his former career as a prosecutor with the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office. Our firm hired Daniel Jensen in late 2017, after he gained valuable experience trying over 65 cases as a prosecutor.

Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey, and Fronrath prides itself on being advocates for our clients and having trial attorneys who will take cases to trial.  Not all law firms have the experience and willingness to take cases to trial. As a young, up and coming attorney with our office, Daniel brings plenty of trial experience and is a great example of how our firm treats its clients and fights for them in the courtroom.

Daniel is a Palm Beach County native who grew up in Wellington and graduated from Wellington High School. Daniel attended Florida State University for his undergraduate degree. He then moved on to the University of Florida for law school where he met his wife Kaitlin.After graduating law school, Daniel jumped at the opportunity to become a prosecutor with the State Attorney’s Office in Palm Beach County and give back to the community where he was born and raised.

As a prosecutor, he was immediately in court trying cases and getting results for victims. Our firm is fortunate to have Daniel, as he embodies the strong ties to the community that our firm believes in.  He and his wife are actively involved in the community and both are members of the Palm Beach County Bar Association Young Lawyers Section. Daniel is also an active member of the Florida Justice Association, Palm Beach County Justice Association, and American Association of Justice. In addition, Daniel takes part in community service projects and plans charity events in our area as a member of Palm Beach County’s local Kiwanis Internationalclub.

As an associate with our firm, Dan continues to work with and help the people of Florida.  While working for the State Attorney’s Office Daniel gain edin valuable experience, but what impacted him most was how his role as a prosecutor could truly impact someone’s life for the better. As a prosecutor, Daniel had the opportunity and privilege to protect those without a voice and make a difference in their lives. He continues this mission as an associate with our firm and has already fought for victims in the courtroom in his first few monthshere.  We have no doubt that he will continue to advocate and fight for victims as a trial attorney with Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey, and Fronrath.

Uninsured Motorist and Personal Injury Claims

When an accident involving uninsured motorists occurs, it is reasonable to be concerned about getting compensation for damages. Although all vehicle owners are required by law to have “automobile liability insurance” the reality is that many people today drive without adequate or any automobile insurance.  Also, not every driver on the road own the vehicle they are driving or is covered under the policy of the vehicle owner. In fact, based on an Insurance Research Council (IRC) study, approximately 30 million American vehicle owners do not have insurance. In the study period, according to IRC data, the number of uninsured driver in Florida was a whopping 23%.   Read more

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Star Delray Beach Football Player Killed in Dirt Bike Accident

According to a recent Sun-Sentinel report, an Atlantic High School senior and star football player from Delray Beach was recently killed when his dirt bike crashed into an SUV in nearby Greenacres.  The accident occurred when the dirt bike, which did not have headlights, and a Chevrolet Equinox crashed on a dark stretch of road.  As the Chevrolet SUV was turning onto the road, the dirt bike slammed into its front passenger door. The dirt bike’s driver was taken to St. Mary’s Hospital for treatment, but was pronounced dead a week later from his injuries.  The dirt bike’s driver was a starter and star player on last year’s Atlantic High School football team, which finished as the Florida Class 8A state runners-up.  He had already received multiple scholarship offers from Division I football programs.  This was a tragedy of a young football career cut short by the decision to drive on an off-road vehicle.

Dirt Bikes, ATV’s, Off-Road Vehicles and the Dangers They Can Pose

Riding in or driving a dirt bike, an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) or other type of off-road vehicle can be extremely dangerous.  Unfortunately, many people get behind the wheel of such vehicles and sometimes engage in reckless behavior by driving at breakneck speeds, taking sharp turns without braking, and other dangerous behaviors.  This coupled with the fact that many off-road vehicles lack even basic safety features like headlights or seat belts, can make the incidence of death or serious injury extremely high.  This can spell danger for motor vehicle drivers in the vicinity or even passengers in the ATV, who can be thrown from the vehicle and suffer serious injuries or even death.  In addition, if a dirt bike or ATV is driven in the vicinity of motor vehicles, accidents can often be fatal for off-road vehicle drivers and passengers, as many do not wear helmets or other protective gear despite the lack of safety features on such vehicles.

Damages Recoverable in an Accident Involving an Off-Road Vehicle

In a dirt bike or other off-road vehicle accident like the recent incident in Greenacres, the same damages apply as in any other personal injury lawsuit in Florida.  These include the costs of any repairs to a vehicle or other property that is damaged as a result of someone else’s negligence, any medical treatment for injuries caused in the accident, as well as pain and suffering for any injuries associated with an accident caused by one party’s negligence.  Therefore, in the accident above, if the high school football player on the dirt bike was determined by a jury to be at fault in the accident, his estate could be sued for each of these damages by the driver and passengers in the Equinox.

The Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys of Lytal Reiter Are Here to Assist Victims of Dirt Bike, ATV or Other Off-Road Vehicle Accidents in Florida

At Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrathour experienced personal injury attorneys have decades of combined legal experience representing victims of dirt bike and other ATV accidents.  We have successfully represented individuals who have been injured in accidents involving off-road vehicles in the past. Therefore, if you have been involved in an accident involving a dirt bike, all-terrain vehicle or other off-road vehicle in Florida and have been injured by someone else’s negligent or reckless behavior, please call us today for a free consultation at (561) 655-1990 for a free consultation regarding your situation today.

Underestimating the Value of Your Personal Injury Case

Your Personal Injury Case

Thousands of dollars are often left on the table because people underestimate the value of their personal injury case.  That is due in part to miscalculation of the immediate and potential long term effects and cost of their injuries. This could have been the case for one accident victim who suffered an injury to his pinky finger after another driver crashed into his patrol vehicle. However, by taking the appropriate steps, he received a settlement of $125,000 for what turned out to be an unexpected and surprising life-altering injury.   Read more

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Home Pesticides May Cause Cancer

Pesticides and other toxins that are used around the home have been reported and written about for years as being harmful to humans.  Yet, despite the fact that much research has gone into trying to make these over the counter chemicals safe, there are still reports of individuals becoming violently sick or even dyeing.   Recently CNN reported that a man in the California bay area used a weed control product called Roundup produced by Monsanto.  He claims the product gave him cancer.  Dewayne Johnson, a former school groundskeeper, regularly used Roundup and claims it is the cause of his cancer. Last year CNN reported that more than 800 patients were suing Monsanto, claiming its popular weed killer, Roundup, gave them cancer.  This brings the total up to over 2,000 people who have used Round Up and have claims against Monsanto.

The big question at stake is whether Roundup can cause cancer and, if so, whether Monsanto failed to warn consumers about the product’s cancer risk.

In March 2015, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) said the key ingredient in Roundup, glyphosate, is “probably carcinogenic to humans.”  But Monsanto long has maintained that Roundup does not cause cancer, and that the IARC report is greatly outnumbered by studies saying glyphosate is safe.

The law firm of Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey& Fronrath has handled chemical and pesticide exposure cases around the state of Florida where there is an overabundance of pesky little critters invading yards and homes with home owners using professional or over the counter chemicals to rid them.  As result, we have had many successful outcomes with these cases.  We are here to answer any questions you may have about chemical exposure.  If you or a loved one feels that you have become sick due to a chemical at home or at work, call Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath at their West Palm Beach Office today.  The call and consultation is FREE and there is no obligation.  Call 561-655-1990 to talk to one of our highly trained attorneys.

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What do you Mean I Can’t Sue the Government?

Or the Police Department, School Board, Post Office, FBI or any other federal or local governmental entity!  That right, it’s called Sovereign immunity and it protects the Government, nationally, locally and internationally from being sued.

The entire concept of sovereign immunity is antiquated, dating back to the days when it was proclaimed: “The king can do no wrong.”

King?”

Anyone who believes governments can do no wrong must be completely out of touch with reality.  Sadly, those who are injured or have died due to the negligence of a governmental employee may fall victim to this very old, legal doctrine that states  the sovereign or state cannot commit a legal wrong and is immune from civil suit or criminal prosecution.

“That’s crazy, right?”“So when can I sue the Government or Sovereign?”

Under the Federal Tort Claims Act, you can file a lawsuit against the government in certain situations. The FTCA allows you to file a lawsuit for injury, loss of property, or wrongful death caused by a federal employee only if it was caused by negligence and if you could file a similar lawsuit against a private person and win.  Furthermore, for you to be able to sue, the federal employee must have been within the scope of his/her employment when the event occurred. For example, if an FBI agent crashed into you while chasing a suspect, then you might have a case because the FBI agent was in the scope of their work.  However, if the same FBI agent crashed into you while driving his kids to school; you can’t sue the government, even if he was driving his work vehicle. But you may have a case against the FBI agent as a private citizen since the agent was not in the scope of their work.

“OK, so what if I want to sue a governmental entity under the FTCA rule because I was badly injured during the time when the employee was on the clock?”

Here’s how it works.  First, you should consider hiring legal counsel so the process is done correctly and in a timely manner. This is a very complicated situation and an attorney can help make sure you are compensated properly and things are done in an orderly manner.  But if you decide to go it on your own, you have to file a claim within two years with the federal agency responsible for your situation. So, if an FBI agent crashed into you, then you’d have to file with the FBI. At this stage it is considered an administrative claim. You need to file as quickly as possible to make sure it doesn’t get rejected as being late.Make sure you include as many facts as possible in your claim along with the amount you want in damages.  An SF 95 form will ensure you’ve provided all the information the agency requires to carry out its investigation.

After submitting your claim, the agency has to issue a ruling within six months. If you have a strong case, the federal agency may admit your claim and offer to compensate you in full or in part, so you may not have to go to court.

If the federal agency refuses to compensate you or rejects your claim, you then need to file your lawsuit within six months from the date when the decision was mailed to you. If the agency doesn’t make a decision within six months, you can either wait for their decision or go ahead and file the lawsuit. Note that the clock starts counting down on the six-month limit only once a ruling has been made.If you were badly injured, at this point your medical bills are probably really mounting up!

“How much can I sue for?”

You can sue for any amount you want but chances are you will not receive more than the limit set on sovereign immunity liability in your state.  In Florida, that’s $200,000.  If you have lost a limb or a loved one has died in the accident, that $200,000 is going to feel like a real slap in the face.

“Is it possible I can get more?”

It is, but this could take years and usually has to be approved by the Governor of your state or some other governmental committee.  Most likely you would end up in court with a trial by jury in order to receive anything better than the minimum.  Again, the chances are slim and if your law suit was for say $10,000,000 because you lost a loved one, you might only be awarded $200,000.Best advice, seek counsel.  Call a law firm that has experience in these types of cases and has a track record of presenting claims bills to the Governor to get morethan the minimum recovery.

Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath have been fighting for the rights of our clients for over thirty years and have the trial experience, resources and reputation for taking on thesecomplicated cases.

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Florida is Again the State with Both the Largest Numbers of Boating Accidents and Boating Fatalities

In 2017, Florida was again the state with the highest number of both total boating accidents and boating fatalities in the country according to statistics compiled by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FFWCC).  Florida has hundreds of lakes in addition to its thousands of miles of coastline along both the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico.  This, combined with the state’s beautiful weather year round, makes Florida a true boater’s paradise.  For all these reasons, Florida has the highest number of registered recreational boats of any state on the country.  However, with so many boats on the water, accidents are bound to happen.  This was simply confirmed by the FFWCC’s 2017 statistics.  Therefore, if you are in Florida and are regularly out on your boat, make sure to take appropriate safety measures every time you are on the water to avoid becoming another statistic.

The FFWCC’s Findings Regarding Boating Accidents in Florida

The FFWCC’s recent report showed there was a nearly 14 percent rise in Florida boating accidents in 2017 as compared with 2016.  There were 766 boating accidents in Florida in 2017, up from 714 in 2016.  July had the most accidents with 113, with May and April the next two highest months with 99 and 92 accidents, respectively.  Of all Florida counties, Monroe County had the most accidents, with Miami-Dade and Broward Counties coming in second and third place with 75 and 63 accidents, respectively.  Of the causes found by the FFWCC in connection with these accidents, the two most cited as playing the leading role were operator inexperience or not having proper lookout/operator inattention.  Although the number of total boating accidents that occurred in 2017 rose when compared with the prior year, a total of 67 people died in boating accidents in Florida in 2017, which was the same number as in in 2016.  The 766 boating accidents also resulted in a total of over $8.5 million in total property damage.

Florida Law Regarding Boating Accidents and Boating Fatalities

These statistics tell a grim tale that venturing out onto the water for what should be a good time can be ruined by someone else’s bad decisions.  As in most states, Florida law concerning the operation of boats is similar to its laws regarding the operation of motor vehicles. A boat operator must use appropriate measures to keep his or her passengers as well as nearby boaters safe.  If a boat’s operator is negligent in operating his vessel, such as piloting it at excessive speeds, drinking and then operating a boat or paying inadequate attention, the boat operator can be sued by either his own passengers or other boaters if the negligence results in an accident that injures or kills someone.

Contact Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath if You or a Loved One Have Been Injured in a Boating Accident

As the 2017 boating statistics recently released by the FFWC reflect, boating accidents are unfortunately all too common in Florida.  Boating accidents occur with greater frequency in Florida than anywhere else in the United States.  The Florida boating accident lawyers at Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath understand the seriousness of boating safety and have extensive experience handling injury claims for those who have been injured in a boating accident.  If you have been injured in a boating accident in Florida, contact the experienced lawyers at our firm today at (561) 655-1990 for a free consultation regarding your situation today.

Uber Accidents; What to Expect

Uber Accidents;

Uber is rapidly displacing traditional taxis as the preferred mode of transportation. Getting into an Uber vehicle requires only a few clicks on a smart phone GPS system.  And, there’s no need to wonder where you driver is in proximity to your location. The Uber system allows passengers to track almost to the nearest minute, how soon a driver will get to them. However, while the Uber concept is modern, economic and convenient, it pays to understand the security and legal ramifications of utilizing this service. Read more

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Lytal, other Palm Beach County lawyers take lead at state legal group

Lake H. “Trey” Lytal III and other Palm Beach County attorneys have taken leadership roles in a state legal association that has lobbied the legislature heavily on issues including proposed repeal of Florida’s no-fault car insurance system.

Lytal, 47, was sworn in as president of the Florida Justice Association in its annual meeting last week in Palm Beach. He serves as managing partner with Lytal Reiter Smith Ivey & Fronrath in West Palm Beach.

“We protect cornerstone American rights and support Republicans and Democrats who support our mission,” Lytal said in a statement. The group seeks to protect “access to the courts and right to a jury trial,” he said.

The association, which bills itself as advancing the interests of citizens and consumers through the work of member trial lawyers, advocated for a bill that passed the state House last session to end the state’s no-fault car insurance system. That would bring to a close Florida’s status as one of only two states that do not require bodily-injury liability insurance to cover a driver’s injuries to others, but the bill stalled in the Senate.

Other issues on its agenda have concerned worker’s comp legislation and “bad faith” laws affecting insurers.

Lytal, the son of a past president of the organization, succeeds attorney Dale Swope of Tampa as president, but he is not the only attorney from the area to line up officer roles.

Eric Romano, a partner with the Romano Law Group in West Palm Beach, was named treasurer.

The president-elect, or next president in line, is Leslie Kroeger, a partner with Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll in Palm Beach Gardens. She will become the second woman to serve as president, according to organization officials.

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Kelsey Carol Burke: A Dream to Bring Change

The law firm of Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey, and Fronrath hired Kelsey Burke in 2016 as her success and potential was very apparent. Like many people,Kelsey enjoys spending time with family, especially her nieces and nephews and her dog Bruno. She is very active and enjoys paddle boarding, running, yoga, and intense interval training exercises. These recreational activities are quite common in South Florida and Kelsey’s accomplishments would make anyone proud, but for Kelsey she has had to fight and earn everything. Kelsey has overcome many obstacles in her life to become the leader and professional that she is today.

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