Have you been injured in an auto accident or by fault of another person or company? There are many types of personal injury claims. Most personal injury is caused accidentally by another’s failure to use reasonable care, or by gross neglect of responsibility.
Personal Injury Affects Your Life in Many Ways
There are many types of personal injury claims. Most personal injury is caused accidentally by another person’s negligence, which generally means that a person has failed to use reasonable care. Some injuries are even caused by gross negligence or intentional acts. There are numerous types of lawsuits that can result from personal injury or wrongful death. Some of the most common injuries and claims result from automobile accidents, bike accidents, motor vehicle versus pedestrian collisions, truck accidents, boat and airplane accidents, construction accidents, workplace accidents (including OSHA violations), premises liability (such as a slip and fall), product liability, nursing home liability, medical malpractice, and negligent security.
There are a few areas of damage that usually arise in almost every personal injury claim. Accident victims frequently ask me the following questions: Who will pay my medical bills? How can I recover my lost wages? How will I care for my family if I am unable to return to work? Can I recover for emotional damage such as pain and suffering?
The 2 main categories of damages are economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages typically include things like lost wages, lost earning capacity in the future, and past and future medical bills. These damages often cause the most stress to an injured person because they tend to worry about how they are going to support their family if they are unable to return to work. They often ask how they will be able to pay the mortgage or maintain payment of monthly household bills, or otherwise provide financial stability for their family. These types of damages can be difficult to calculate when you are trying to determine what your losses are going into the future. An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to help you recover all amounts you are owed.
The other category of damages, non-economic, typically includes pain and suffering and other emotional damages, such as the damage to the relationships with your spouse or other family members. These damages are not concrete but the amount you are entitled to recover can be very significant if you have sustained a permanent injury. It is very important that you speak to a personal injury attorney who has experience handling similar cases so that you can get a fair idea of what damages you are entitled to recover.
Remember, if you have been injured through someone else’s negligence, the at-fault party may very well have insurance coverage to compensate you. It is important to know that insurance companies and their adjusters are well trained to mitigate your claim and minimize your benefits. Their goal is to save money by paying you as little as possible for your injury. If you are involved in an accident, do not speak to anyone or give any kind of statement to any insurance agent prior to speaking with an experienced attorney. Many years ago, I represented the insurance companies, but now I represent only clients who have been injured. I learned many of the strategies and tactics used by insurance companies and am therefore always prepared to anticipate their moves and protect you and your claim.
I have the knowledge and experience to evaluate your case and answer your important questions. Your no-obligation free consultation with me will help you understand your options and begin the process of managing your personal recovery. I will give you the personal attention you deserve and diligently pursue your claim to recover all of the damages you may be entitled to receive. I will aggressively represent you and prepare a strategy to get you the best possible result.
Brief Overview of Florida’s Personal Injury Law
If you have been injured due to someone else’s conduct, you may very well have a personal injury claim. In order to file a successful lawsuit, you will need to prove the other person was negligent, meaning that they were careless or did not act as a reasonably prudent person would have acted under the circumstances. If there was negligence, you must then show that your injuries were a result of that negligence.
If you were involved in an accident of some kind, you will want to move forward as quickly as possible to determine if you have a good case. It is important to document what happened by taking pictures of the scene and your injuries, as well as writing down the names of any witnesses who actually saw what happened. Remember, do not give any statements to any insurance companies or anyone else until you have spoken to an experienced personal injury attorney who can properly advise you.
Most personal injury lawyers in Florida will take your case on a contingency, which means that they do not charge you a fee unless and until they get you a recovery. This allows you to fight the insurance companies without having to worry about coming out of pocket to pay your attorney as the case moves along. Even better, this puts you and your attorney in the fight together. Since your attorney will not get paid unless he “wins” your case, he should be willing to fight as aggressively as possible to get a good result.
The statute of limitations, or deadline by which to file a personal injury lawsuit in Florida, is four years from the date of the injury (remember, medical malpractice claims are different and must be filed within 2 years). If you do not file by the applicable deadline, you forever give up your right to sue. Certain types of accidents, such as a boat accident in the Atlantic Ocean or Gulf of Mexico, may have a shorter statute of limitations. Therefore, it is important to contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible to discuss your claim and legal rights.
There are numerous statutes that apply to automobile/motor vehicle accidents. You have probably heard people say that Florida is a no-fault state. This simply means your own car insurance will pay for your medical expenses up to $10,000, no matter who was at fault. This coverage is known as a personal injury protection (PIP) policy.
What Kind of Damages Would Can You Recover if Injured in an Auto Accident?
If you can prove another person was at fault for injuring you, you are entitled to damages. Including the following:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost wages from work
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Any property damaged because of the incident
- The cost of hiring someone to do household chores when you could not
- Any other costs that were a direct result of your injury
If you have suffered a “permanent injury”, you are also entitled to non-economic damages. A permanent injury is defined as any one or more of the following:
- Significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function
- Permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability, other than scarring or disfigurement
- Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement
If you have a permanent injury, you can recover non-economic damages, which could include pain and suffering (in the past and future), loss of consortium for damage to the relationship between spouses, and other emotional damages. An experienced personal injury attorney can advise you of the damages you can recover.
What Happens if You Are Partially at Fault for Your Injury?
Florida law allows a plaintiff who is partially responsible for an accident to still recover damages. This concept is known as comparative fault. It is quite common for both parties in an accident to bear some responsibility. Even if you bear some portion of the fault, do not let this discourage you from talking to an attorney to pursue an injury claim.
Jeff Murphy Law has been representing accident victims for over 28 years. He can give you answers to your legal questions and will work with you to recover fair compensation for your injuries. Call Jeff today for a free consultation.