On Friday July 19th, Graves Thomas Injury Law Group hosted treasure coast law enforcement, veterans and emergency service providers and their families for opening night of “The Lion King”, complete with a complimentary movie themed tumbler and popcorn. Over 220 people were able to fill the theater at the Majestic 11 in downtown Vero Beach and watch the live action remake of a 90’s Disney classic.
“We simply wished to thank an incredible cornerstone of our community for their tireless service,” said Attorney Joe Graves. “Anything our firm can do to resource, support and thank community, we are eager to do.” Graves Thomas Injury Group proudly sponsored a red carpet and photographer to complete the evening honoring the people who put their life on the line to protect our community.
Graves Thomas Injury Law Group believes in empowering women to protect themselves and their family in a time of need. On May 28th, 2019 we decided to give back to the women in our community by sponsoring 15 ladies to attend a concealed weapons course located at a local shooting range.
We worked with IRCSO, US Law Shield and Gorilla Ammunition to provide Florida’s required course for concealed carry licensing. The ladies learned about legal responsibilities, the principal parts of a pistol, safe firearm handling practices and shooting proficiency. Through this course, we provided these 15 women a platform to build upon. With continued training and education, we know that this group will feel safe and protected.
“The reality is, we live in a world where there are certain times when women are vulnerable. With this course, we hope to equip women with the knowledge to be able to confidently face those times of vulnerability.” – Joseph Graves.
You’re in your car and no fault of your own, you’re in an accident. Your car is damaged. You don’t feel exactly right. Maybe the airbag has gone off and you’re disoriented. It’s a nightmare scenario people find themselves in every day. The fear of medical bills, getting your car fixed and what this is all going to cost runs through your mind. You have seen many billboards, heard radio advertisements, television commercials, etc. from lawyers all proclaiming to have experience and willing to help. How do you know how which one to choose?
As a board certified civil trial lawyer, the Florida Bar allows me to designate myself as an “expert” or a “specialist.” Why is that significant? Less than 5% of personal injury lawyers are board certified. In order to achieve board certification, you must have practiced a certain amount of time, tried a certain number of cases and pass a written examination. There is no requirement from the bar regarding the number of cases you try to call yourself a “trial lawyer.” A “trial lawyer” may not have tried a case at all. Some lawyers use trials that they may have been tried by another member of their firm or maybe they had limited responsibility and still advertise they have “won” a trial or achieved a “verdict” in order to bolster their credibility. Trying cases competently takes a lot of experience and legal expertise. Further, not all lawyers try cases and that is an important issue to discuss with your prospective attorney.
Similarly, lawyers advertise themselves as specializing in certain areas such as “motorcycle accidents” or “trucking accidents.” The bar does not regulate such a distinction. In other words, a lawyer may have never tried or handled such an accident and still designate themselves misleading consumers to believe they have experience with these types of cases. At Graves Thomas, we have successfully litigated motorcycle accidents, trucking accidents, premises liability accidents, automobile accidents, negligent security cases, injuries to children, brain injuries, spinal injuries and other complicated legal matters. In handling these types of cases, experience matters and we are more than happy to show our prospective clients that we have experience in all these types of cases, including trials.
Taking a case into litigation is quite costly for a law firm. There are associated costs in filing the lawsuit, conducting discovery, depositions and experts, if needed. It is important to understand what the firm’s resources are in taking a case to trial. At Graves Thomas, we have small firm customer service but big firm resources. Simply put, there is not a case too big for us to handle. The insurance companies cannot outspend us. We have the resources necessary to win your case and get you the money you deserve.
Oftentimes, I see lawyers that have designations or accolades from various organizations. Many of the organizations will designate you in some way as a “top lawyer” or something similar without having any background. I am constantly bombarded with emails asking me to pay a fee for some crafty or catchy designation. They are meaningless but are used by some lawyers to make it appear that they have achieved something that they actually have not. Oftentimes, these organizations will so designate a lawyer for the payment of a fee. Traditionally, lawyers have used Martindale as a reliable source. Martindale judges lawyers by asking their peers and Judges they practice before how they rate the lawyer. I have achieved Martindale’s highest rating of “AV” and have so held it for over 15 years. I display these plaques proudly in my office knowing that my peers and the Judges I practice before respect my legal expertise.
In today’s digital advertising, lawyers advertise from distant areas and appear as though they may be located in your town. Ask them where there primary office is located. Many lawyers advertise multiple offices, but no one is there to meet you or tend to your individual needs. Further, it is difficult to aggressively litigate your case when your attorney is not local. An attorney having local ties has a distinct advantage in familiarity with the Judge and the Judge’s procedures. Also, juries are sometimes suspicious of “out of town” lawyers.
Finally, ask your lawyer who will be handling your case. Will the firm be referring your case to another firm? What is the experience of the lawyer actually handling my case? These questions are important because aggressive and competent representation is necessary for an optimal result. Insurance companies know who is experienced and who is not. They know who tries cases and who does not. The lack of experience may detrimentally affect your settlement. Also, cases should be moved through the system as quickly as possible and not left to sit around. Aggressive representation includes providing a timely demand and litigating the case if necessary. At Graves Thomas, our reputation is well known. We work hard for our clients and are willing to do whatever it takes to achieve the best result possible for our clients.
A guiding principle at our firm is that we treat our clients like family. No matter how big or small your case may be, we will treat you just like we would our own sister, brother, Mom or Dad.
If you want aggressive experienced representation in your injury case, give us a call.
Accidents involving commercial vehicles can be catastrophic and handled by an attorney that has experience in handling these claims. It is important to secure as much evidence as quickly as possible. Most trucking companies have adjusters and sometimes accident reconstruction experts report to the scene so they can immediately begin their defense. It is important that the victim have representation so that this information can be secured for the victims as well.
Evidence such as photographs of property damage, downloading control models and other evidence may not be available later. It can be very difficult to obtain this evidence later if it is not immediately secured. There are also many federal rules and laws that must be complied with by drivers. An attorney representing a victim of a trucking accident needs aggressive and zealous representation that is familiar with these laws.
Our firm has handles many trucking accident cases with catastrophic injuries resulting in millions of dollars in awards. Trucking cases can be complex and costly. At Graves Thomas we have the experienced aggressive trial lawyers and large firm financial resources to litigate any case all the way through trial.
Living in the Treasure Coast and Space Coast gives us the opportunity to enjoy riding motorcycles year round. Unfortunately, with the amount of riders in our area, there are a lot of riders that are injured or killed every year in motorcycle accidents. This article is to provide tips for being safe on the road that I have learned from riding and experience as a lawyer.
Always ride with your safety equipment. Utilize a DOT approved helmet, eye protection, high vis jacket, gloves and boots. I know it is very hot and a lot of riders do not like to wear these items but a slow speed crash can cause a severe injury without proper equipment.
While riding a motorcycle be extra vigilant. There are a lot of distractions on modern bikes. Make sure you have your seat adjusted, music, Bluetooth for your phone, etc. set up before you get on the street. Scan ahead and constantly look for other cars and always expect the unexpected. Expect every car coming from a side street to pull out in front of you. Expect cars to run red lights. Expect not to be seen. When crossing a side street or intersection slow down and be prepared to bring your bike to a stop. Avoid riding in blind spots of cars and keep a safe distance from the car ahead of you. Stagger when riding with another biker so if they go down, you do not. On the highway, I keep away from groups of cars as cars make unexpected lane changes.
A critical element is speed. Obey speed limits and all traffic laws. Do not pass other vehicles in an unsafe manner. If you want to go fast, then go rent time on a track. There are simply too many variables on the street.
Often, in our practice we see riders that have been rear ended while stopped. When stopped, keep your brake lights on. When stopped keep your bike in gear and keep enough space between you and the other vehicles so you get out of the way if someone approaches you and does not stop. To avoid being hit by vehicles running red lights, I simply count to three before taking off once the light turns green.
Get out on your bike and practice. Go to a parking lot where there is not any traffic and keep comfortable with the maneuvers necessary to ride on the street. There is always something you can learn. This list is no way exhaustive as there are many different skills to ride a bike on the street.
If you have the unfortunate experience to be involved in an accident while on your motorcycle, you will need an aggressive experienced lawyer. We have handled many motorcycle accidents and have recovered millions of dollars for our clients. At Graves Thomas, we have big firm financial capabilities to take your case to trial if necessary. Wouldn’t you rather have an attorney that rides?