Incurring injuries after any form of accident is a sad experience: you ask yourself constant questions on how to receive compensation from the liable party; you want to know how to pay your hospital bills; if your injuries cannot allow you to continue working, you want to see how you will cater for daily needs; you want to know who will take your children to school. If you are involved in an accident, all these questions and many more will cross your mind. You want to pursue your case while focusing on your recovery process.
Hiring a personal injury attorney will reduce your worries. We invite you to get in touch with us at the Jacksonville Personal Injury Attorney law firm. Our attorneys have listened to many clients and understand the major points and concerns you might have. We are ready to help you with your lawsuit until an adequate settlement is offered to you or on behalf of your loved ones.
Here, find answers to the frequently asked question concerning personal injury like 'what should you do after a slip and fall accident?' or 'when should you hire a personal injury attorney?' Don't hesitate to contact our attorneys if you have more questions.
Who Is Liable for Dog Bite in, Florida?
Under Florida law, the owner of the dog is subject to liability, regardless of the period they had the dog.
Fla. Stat. 767.04 Dog Owner’s Liability for Damages to Persons Bitten
Florida law holds the dog owner liable for biting anybody while they are in or on a public space, or legally in or on a private area. Private spaces include in or on the property of the dog owner.
The dog owner’s liability for harm caused to you or your loved ones following the dog bite is regardless of any previous wildness of the dog or the owner’s familiarity with such wildness.
However, the dog owner’s liability for injuries incurred when their dog bites another person lowers if the victim’s negligence caused the dog bite incident.
Instances where the dog owner is responsible for harm caused to others, while the victims are in or on the owner’s property, are:
- When the victims are on the dog owner’s property in the performance of official duties. For example, police officers, and package delivery or mail persons
- When the victims are in or on private property upon an invitation from the owner of the dog.
- If the victims are below six years. Victims below the age of six are protected under Fla. Stat. 767.04 even if there are not on official duty or expresses invitation
- Failure of the dog owner to place a readable sign on a prominent place warning people of the presence of a dangerous dog within the property
What do You do After a Dog’s Attack?
After a dog's attack, report the incident to the police for the owner’s identification and visit a reputable health care facility for treatment. Don’t contact the owner of the dog and engage your injury attorney to start an investigation and pursuing compensation.
How Long Does the Settlement of a Personal Injury Lawsuit Take?
The agony of waiting until when a personal injury case is settled is unmatched. See, after the harm is caused to you, seek medication and follow the treatment to the latter. You can incur severe injuries that render you immobile; you cannot work, walk your children to school, or perform your official duties.
You are wondering how long it takes to receive compensation for your personal injuries. Many months have passed, and the case seems to take many turns. Below, our attorneys explain.
Fast Outcomes vs. Best Outcomes
Personal injury cases are like marathons and not sprints. You want to have lots of patience for the lawsuit to yield the best results. See, the case can take six months or even ten years.
Your medical treatment is the more crucial part of any injury claim. Your personal injury lawyer should learn the total costs incurred in hospital bills and doctor appointments. But if you are receiving treatment while your case is still in court, determining the costs of your medicine is challenging.
Does the doctor recommend continued treatment of surgery in the future? If so, your attorney needs to include these in the claim. If your case is concluded before such expected costs reflect in the claims, you can deplete your savings and the compensation. You will have to settle future surgery or treatment from your pockets.
Practice patience while focusing on your recovery. You want to give your personal injury attorney ample time to have all existing records of your medical history and future treatment projections.
How Long Do You Have to File Lawsuit for Car Accident Injuries in Florida?
Car accidents cause various injuries – slight or severe to victims. Regardless of the intensity of your injuries, you need to seek immediate treatment. You want to confirm that you did not suffer internal damages as soon as possible.
Another thing to do is look for your personal injury attorney. Florida has statute limits of the period from your accident to when you can file a lawsuit and make claims. The limitations ensure cases are argued when the information and evidence are still fresh.
Under Florida statutes, you are allowed up to four years from the time of the accident to claim damages. But different types of injuries have different time frames. For instance, you have up to two years to seek compensation for your loved one for a wrongful death case. You have up to three years to file a lawsuit against the city or state.
Does the Clock Start Ticking from The Moment Your Accident Occur?
Certain situations hinder a personal injury case from proceeding, and it's not the fault of the victim. The state laws are, at times, not considered to pause the case for the best of the victim's justice. Reasons for a temporary pause of the case include your current mental state or age, especially for victims who are minors.
What Should you do After a Car Accident Caused Harm to you in Florida?
Often, after car accidents, all you hear are sirens of ambulances sounding as they transport injured victims to hospitals. While decisions for many casualties following an accident are made on their behalf, others incur slight injuries and can make informed choices.
If you are not severely hurt, you want to make decisions to safeguard your wellbeing and better monetary recovery.
Immediately after getting involved in a car accident, move your vehicle to the roadside if possible and turn off the ignition. Turn your hazard lights on and place warning indicator-signs a few meters away from the vehicle.
Afterward, it’s recommended that:
- Call 911. Regardless of the intensity of your injuries, dial 911, and report the crash. If you notice or feel hurt, request an ambulance. Upon the arrival of the police, they inspect the scene and write a report. The report comes in handy when presenting claims or filing a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver.
- Gather information. Often, the police record the information of everyone involved in a road crash. It is, however, recommendable that you, too, collect this information and that of witnesses. The omission of crucial data can occur on the police side. If the other parties are uncooperative, avoid road rage. Instead, note down the police officer's name, their badge numbers, and license plate numbers.
- Take images. Clear photos of the scene are always great pieces of evidence. Record the accident site and the damage done to your car before the authorities clear the road. With this documentation, road crash experts can join the dots on how the crash happened. Remember to capture the license plates, too, in your photos.
- Mind your words. Don’t speak to anyone at the scene in such a manner that you seem to admit fault. An apology could be interpreted as accepting to have caused the accident. Don't offer more information with the presence of a lawyer except telling the police your name and contact details.
- Notify your insurance company. Alert your insurance provider as soon as the accident occurs. In case the other driver's insurer contact you, don’t sign any papers nor record a statement with them.
- Call a personal injury attorney. If you incur injuries following your road accident, engage your lawyer to talk about your claim. Treatment fees and doctor appointment rates can add up fast, and you need compensation from the at-fault driver.
How Much Does a Personal Injury Attorney Cost?
Often, personal injury attorneys in Florida handle cases on a contingency fee. This means your lawyer receives a certain percentage of the compensation awarded. You don’t need to offer them upfront fees.
Under Florida rules, you must sign an agreement with the lawyers for a contingency fee. In the contingency fee agreement, details included are the method used to determine the price, the percentage that the attorney receives, and what other expenses apart from the contingent fee that your lawyer can subtract from the compensation.
How are Attorney Fees Calculated?
You deduct attorney fees from the compensation the court awards or the total money your attorney recovers. Below is an example of a percentage agreement.
- Before filing any claim, you agree to give your lawyer:
- 20 percent of the compensation you receive exceeding $2 million
- 30 percent of the gross amount awarded from $1 million to $2 million
- 33 percent for benefit recovered not exceeding $1 million
- Upon the filing of the lawsuit, you agree to offer your personal injury lawyer:
- 20 percent of gross proceeds of the settlement that exceeds $2 million
- 30 percent of any compensation recovered between $1 million to $2 million
- 40 percent of the total amount recovered not exceeding $1 million
- When all at-fault parties admit responsibility when giving their responses and ask for trial only damages:
- 15 percent of overall proceeds of the recovered costs that exceed $2 million
- 20 percent of compensation awarded between $1 million and $2 million
Know Your Rights as a Client
The agreement that states how contingent fee is offered to your attorney must appear in writing. Also, before your attorney can sign on the dotted line, they should present to you a statement of client’s rights document. You should read and understand the details of your rights written in the document.
What Is a Premises Liability Claim?
You need a credible personal injury lawyer to understand what constitutes a premises liability claim. Search no more! Here is an outline of what the claim entails.
Under Florida law, owners of properties must uphold the safety of visitors and guests on or in their properties. Failure to do so, and any incurred injuries within the property, and the owner is liable for damages and losses the victim suffers.
Potential premises liability claims include slip and fall accidents, staircase falls, or dog bites in public spaces.
How do You Prove Premises Liability?
Many premises liability claims for personal injuries are based on negligence. With the help of an attorney, you must prove that the premises owner was negligent before you can get compensation.
An example of negligence is when a parking lot owner knows that the lighting in the staircases is faulty. If you get hurt after falling down the stairs, the parking-lot owner is subject to negligence. You also must prove that negligence was the primary cause of your injuries.
A doctor's evidence in the form of a report is also needed in court. The doctor’s report should state the injuries incurred, for instance, back injuries, bone fractures, and traumatic brain injury were caused by your stair-fall.
The juror also needs you to prove that you were within the premises for a genuine reason, like parking or picking your vehicle. Florida law does not award compensation to trespassers who incur injuries if they had the intent to make mischief.
What Are the Examples of Premises Liability Claims?
You can file premises liability claims against municipalities, business owners, or homeowners.
- Swimming pool mishaps. Florida has hundreds of thousands of swimming pools. Under Florida law, the owners must uphold the safety and security of their guests. If your kid drowns or sustains injuries, the premise owner is subject to liability.
- Questionable building security. If an intruder attacks you or kills a loved one, it is evident that the security of the premises is inadequate. The building owner is held responsible for harm caused to you or the death of your loved one.
- Slip and fall accidents. The premises owner is held responsible for harm caused to the guest after a trip and fall accident if the conditions of the premises were the primary cause.
- Dog bites. Under Florida law, dog bites have a statute of limitations. Often, the owners are liable for harm caused if a dog bites you. The liability is regardless of whether it’s the first time the dog is reported to cause injuries. But the law doesn’t acknowledge people who provoke the dogs or who are in or on the premises illegally when the dog-biting incident
What Can You Ask Concerning Depositions After Your Car Accident?
A reputable attorney is a go-to person after a road crash. After filing your personal injury lawsuit, the lawyer takes critical steps to prepare for proper trial preparation.
Significant steps to take when preparing for the trial are gathering vital documents like insurance documents, hospital-treatment reports, expert reports, or even phone call records. Another major step is requesting for interrogatories. Interrogatories refer to pre-determined questions concerning cell phone records, medical history, and statements recorded. Asking for depositions is yet another essential step.
All witnesses appearing before the juror for the trial are open for deposition. Witnesses include specialists, anyone who saw the accident happen, the other motorist, and the plaintiff.
Under Florida law, attorneys can pose deposition questions to defendants’ witnesses under oath. The court reporter records all these testimonies for future reference.
Depending on the complexity of your personal injury lawsuit, a deposition can take even four hours. Examples of deposition questions asked in court include:
- During the time of your accident, did you have a mobile phone on you or installed in your vehicle?
- What’s your mobile number, and who is your service provider?
- Do you have an optician’s prescription to wear contact lenses or glasses?
- Have you undergone any visual test before the accident? If so, what it the name of the eye clinic?
- How often do you undergo visual testing at your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles?
- Can you present the results of the vision tests?
- Do you have any visual limitations reflecting on your driver’s license?
- When the car accident occurred, did you have your contact lenses or glasses on?
- Who else was in your vehicle when the accident occurred? Could you present their names and contact addresses?
- Did you, after the accident, record a statement with the police?
- At the time of the car crash, how were the lighting conditions (bright or dim)?
- Do you have an eyesight condition? If so, what actions did you take to ensure maximum visibility on the road?
Do You Need a Personal Injury Attorney for Your Car Accident?
Your daily life is now affected after your accident. You have incurred severe injuries, and you are slowly drowning in emotional trauma. You cannot go to work, and hospital bills are draining your savings fast. The police wrote a ticket for the at-fault driver, and their insurer has called you, but you are clueless on what to do. Is a personal injury attorney necessary?
You Lawyer Could Ease Your Burden
After a vehicle accident, Florida law does not need you to get a lawyer to argue your lawsuit. But a reputable attorney comes in handy when trying to get compensation. Also, the lawyer represents you as you focus on treatment and recovery. A competent lawyer will help you with the following:
- Collect evidence and contact witnesses. Substantial evidence against the driver at-fault after your car accident is a must for you to receive compensation. An experienced attorney knows how and where to gather enough evidence to back your lawsuit.
- Gather police and doctor’s reports. Your insurer or that of the other motorist could ask for police reports or treatment records. The police report documents the accident while the medical records show the intensity of injuries incurred. While you can gather these documents, your attorney knows better how to ensure the reports are not compromised to sabotage your claims.
- Engage the insurance provider. Often, an insurer looks for every means to avoid recompensing you for damages caused. A lawyer is the best person to engage the insurance firm as, unlike you, they have a better knowledge of the law. And, the insurer stands no chance to confuse an attorney.
- Get compensation for bills incurred. Personal injury cases are lengthy and could take years to receive a settlement for bills incurred in hospitals and lost wages. Before receiving your compensation, your attorney could talk to doctors to continue offering treatment and to your insurer to release compensation to settle your bills.
When Do You Need a Personal Injury Attorney?
You are likely to benefit a lot when you hire an attorney for your personal injury lawsuit. While there are trivial instances where you could do without an attorney, here are instances where an attorney is a must-have:
- Commercial vehicle crash. Often, when the other party in a road accident is a commercial driver, you handle corporate lawyers. With your personal injury attorney, it’s hard to challenge the defendant in court. Here, an attorney is a must-have to win the lawsuit.
- Catastrophic injuries. You want to receive compensation that includes long-life medical attention and non-economic damages if you incur severe injuries like paralysis, amputation, or traumatic brain injury.
- Drunk driver. If the at-fault motorist was driving under the influence at the time the accident occurred, a competent lawyer is needed to prove to the juror that punitive damages are the best compensation.
- Question of fault. Your compensation could be lowered if the defendant argues in court that you contributed to the accident.
Find a Jacksonville Personal Injury Attorney Near Me
Your search for a competent Jacksonville Personal Injury Attorney has come to an end. Our lawyers have many years of experience handling personal injury cases for many clients under Florida personal injury laws. We are reachable every day of the week to answer any of your questions about personal injuries. If you or your loved one has incurred injuries and don't know what step to take next, we are the go-to law firm to hold your hand until you receive compensation. Contact us today to ask any questions at 904-800-7557.