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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

What If You Don't Live Close to Our Office? By George Tofaute

Tofaute & Spelman has offices in Indiana and Illinois and chances are, you are reasonably close to one or more of them.  However, you'll be glad to know what most of our clients win their cases WITHOUT EVER LEAVING THEIR HOME.

We can begin your case with your phone call to us.  You can enjoy having our lawyers work for you in our offices while you stay home and get better.  You can call us 24/7 and hire us from the hospital (many clients have done this), and we will deliver your settlement check to you in person or by overnight mail. 

We know you are busy.  Let us help you while you stay home and get well.

800-468-8736 anytime, 24/7 and a real attorney will be available to help you!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Texting & Driving

Texting and Driving.  Ever done this?  If you have, I bet you that while you were doing it you thought: 
  1. I should NOT be doing this -- it’s dangerous; 
  2. 2. But I need to do this.

And I bet that you maybe ‘wandered’ over the center line of the highway and luckily avoided a crash, or, that you looked up and had to brake really HARD to avoid hitting a vehicle in front of you.  If you have ever texted while driving I am sure that you have had a ‘scare’ and had the thought that you really -- and I mean REALLY -- should NOT be doing this.  Right?

Tragic accidents happen every day involving texting while driving.  In fact, it is so bad that the official form used by all police departments in Indiana now have a box that the investigating officer must check if texting was a cause of an accident.  And, there are penalties that can be imposed on the guilty driver.

You know you should not do this, so DON’T.  Stop by the side of the road and do your texting there.  It’s safer and your spelling wll b betr!  And your message will make more sense, and you will not hurt anyone else or your self.

Friday, September 7, 2012

To Wave or Not to Wave? By Attorney George Tofaute

Picture yourself sitting in traffic and seeing another driver wanting to get your attention so that you will let them cut into the lane or across it. We have all been there. Do you pretend not to see them? Some do. Or, do you want to be a really "nice guy" or "nice gal" and wave them through?   The next time this happens to you, THINK TWICE about what you wind up doing and remember this column.

You could wind up being sued and being in a financial mess. WHY? Because of a new decision by the Indiana Court of Appeals in the case of   KEY vs. HAMILTON which is found in the legal publication  963  N. E.  2nd  573.  

In this case, a motorist who had waved another motorist through an intersection was found liable to the motorist they had waved through who then got hit by a third driver.  The Court held that by waving the other driver through, he had created a "legal relationship"  between the parties and that the harm to the injured driver was reasonably anticipated.
Please, DON'T DO IT. With this decision in the books (unless the Indiana Supreme Court changes this rule), being a polite and courteous person could wind up costing you a lot more than just the angry glare of an impatient motorist!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Aggressive Driving

Want to know what to do?  Read on.

We all encounter aggressive drivers who upset us.  REALLY upset us!!  And, it seems to be getting worse.

This may be due to the state of the economy, with folks with money worries,  people out of work or trying hard to "make ends meet"  (we have all been there). It may even be due to the HOT WEATHER that we have been going through.  Tempers can "BOIL" when the thermometer does. 

WHAT TO DO?  When someone cuts you off, tailgates you, honks at the light when you don’t move fast enough for them,  or aggressively  moves toward you car in a menacing way...do what you  LEAST WANT TO DO!!!  GIVE IN TO THEM AND LET THEM GO!

DO NOT, REPEAT,  DO NOT  ‘take the bait’ and  do NOT respond aggressively!!!  LET IT GO!

Hard to do, but BEST to do.

P. S.  Did you know that on standard Police Reports made in every traffic accident case lists 26 causes for the accident, and, has a place on the report for the Police Officer to check whether or not the accident was the result of  AGGRESSIVE DRIVING?  Remember what your Mom and Dad taught: BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN SORRY. Good advice then & good advice now!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Food Poisoning from a Fast Food Restaurant? By George Tofaute


At Tofaute & Spelman, we are seeing an alarming increase in the number of FOOD POISONING cases this summer.  One was due to a careless employee while cleaning the restaurant, and, the other was a restaurant that kept food around too long.
In both cases, our clients became deathly sick within minutes of eating the contaminated food and immediately began vomiting, experiencing severe stomach cramping and pain, and severe diarrhea.  
Each of these clients went to the emergency room for treatment - one was treated and released. The other was treated and released only to be required to return to the hospital where she was confined for several days!!   
The hospital diagnosis (in the records) and later confirmed by the client's physician was BACTERIAL ENTERITIS often also called  BACTERIAL GASTROENTERITIS.  According to medical research  COMMON SYMPTOMS  include:

  1. cramping
  2. abdominal pain
  3. fever
  4. nausea
  5. vomiting
  6. diarrhea             

The most COMMON SYMPTOM is diarrhea where stools may be watery, bloody, or contain yellow or green mucus.
Our clients WON their cases thanks in large part to going promptly to the E/R and GIVING A VERY COMPLETE HISTORY OF WHAT THEY HAD EATEN A SHORT TIME BEFORE, AND, WHERE.  Both of these recent cases came from eating at fast food restaurants.  
IF YOU GET SICK SHORTLY AFTER EATING don't take chances. Even though most cases of food poisoning are curable and resolve, you can be in for hours and even days of pain, agony, disability, lost time from a job and suffering.  GET MEDICAL HELP AND DOCUMENT where and when you ate what.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Are You or a Loved One Considering a Nursing Home?

Or an assisted-living facility? Aside from the various contracts and ways to pay for it that most nursing homes offer, (which all need to be carefully reviewed for your best financial approach) you need to be aware how DISPUTES with the facility are to be handled.  

DO NOT ASSUME THAT YOU CAN HIRE A LAWYER AND FILE A LAWSUIT IN COURT WITH A JUDGE AND JURY TO HEAR YOUR CASE.  In fact, you may NOT be able to do that, and, you may be required to submit any disputes or claims to ARBITRATION.  In this instance, neither side can go to court, but must let an arbitrator or panel of arbitrators decide the case.

Many feel that this process unfairly protects the nursing facility from publicity of claims with no "jury of your peers" deciding factor.  Many people feel juries are more inclined to rule with an injured patient than arbitrators who are professionals who may be routinely involved
with nursing homes in such cases.  

As with any contract, before entering a facility, "read the fine print" and know your rights.  Many courts have upheld such arbitration clauses in nursing home and assisted living contracts.  We can help advise you in such cases.  Call us today 800-468-8736!