Jacksonville Personal Injury Attorney is one of the leading personal injury law firms in Bunnell. Our attorneys are well versed in Florida’s personal injury laws and are ready to help you seek compensation for your injuries. We deal with cases such as wrongful death, auto accidents, medical malpractice, pedestrian accidents, among others. Please get in touch with us as soon as possible so that we can help you file a compensation claim within the required time frame.
General View of Personal Injury
The premise of a personal injury case is negligence or actions that were egregious towards someone from a party that was expected to be vigilant about someone else’s safety. Personal injury cases vary widely and could include a slip and fall, dog bites, biking accidents, boating accidents, car accidents, construction accidents, or even injuries sustained from poor road maintenance. Medical malpractice is also considered a personal injury case.
Accidents, unfortunately, happen when we least expect them, and they could leave you incurring huge medical bills, loss of wages, insufferable pain, and in many cases, unnecessary expenses. If you have experienced an injury and believe it was caused by the other party’s negligence or carelessness, our very capable and experienced lawyers will walk you through the process of filing a personal injury lawsuit. We have a proven track record over the years in Personal Injury law. The law requires that you provide evidence that can prove negligence from the at-fault party. Florida Laws allow the plaintiff to pursue compensation for the injury sustained.
EXCEPTION: In most cases, auto-accidents are not tried under Personal Injury since Florida is a no-fault state. It is, therefore, imperative for a car owner to always carry a Personal Injury Protection (PIP). This means that each person’s car insurer pays for any injuries sustained or damages incurred in the incident. Ensure that you follow up with your insurer on this issue.
Why You Should Hire Our Bunnell Personal Injury Attorney
We understand that once an injury occurs, you are at most times not ready to bear the economic burden that comes with it. Our attorneys will take your cases on contingency terms. This means that once you come to us for consultation, we do not charge any fees. We ensure that we take your well-being as our number one priority. Payment is only made after we have settled your case.
How Do I Prove a Personal Injury Claim?
The plaintiff should be able to prove a personal injury claim for the court to make a favorable ruling. You must prove that the other party:
- Had a duty of care
- Breached the duty of care
- Their negligence caused the injury (Causation)
- You incurred damages
Duty of Care
Your Bunnell personal injury attorney will have to show that the other party had a duty not to injure you, but was negligent towards you, and therefore, failed in that duty. The lawyer has to prove that it was incumbent upon the at-fault party to provide a safe environment where no person is placed in harm’s way. For example, a slip and fall at a grocery store as a result of a spill or wet floor could easily result in a personal injury. The grocery store manager has a duty of care to his/ her customers by ensuring that the floors are dry, or by cleaning up a spill immediately to keep customers and workers safe. It is upon the store manager to take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of its customers or workers.
Breach of Duty
It has to be established that the defendant had a duty of care towards the plaintiff and failed to live up to it. There must be proof that the defendant breached his duty of care towards you, either by intentional harm or negligence. In the same case of a grocery store injury, the store manager breached his duty by failing to place proper signage in case of a wet floor during cleaning that resulted in a slip and fall.
This means that the attorney has to establish that the defendant failed in his duty of care, in which case there was a breach of duty that led to the actual injury. Let’s revisit the store slip and fall that resulted in an injury. Was the fall caused by a wet floor at the store? Yes. Was there signage showing that cleaning was underway? No. Did you suffer an injury as a result of the fall? Yes. This proves this element of causation.
The attorney needs to prove that the injury led to losses and unnecessary expenses incurred by the plaintiff.
Types of Damages in a Personal Injury Case
When an injured victim seeks redress through the courts when an accident or injury occurs, it should not be viewed as a get-rich-quick scheme. Rather, it helps the injured victim alleviate poverty as a result of any form of incapacitation brought on by accidents. In some instances, the victim may be left with permanent disability from the accident. The court should ensure that the quality of life the victim enjoyed prior is not altogether altered.
Your attorney will also advise on how to seek compensation for damages that one cannot attach any value to, which are commonly referred to as non-economic damages, like emotional pain or distress.
Here are some types of damages our Bunnell personal injury attorney will help you seek compensation for:
- Loss of income — This covers all income you lose as a direct result of the injury. This covers income lost on the days you missed work to seek medical attention or even income lost during the recovery period after your injury.
- Recurrent medical expenses — This deals with all medical expenses incurred from the day the injury occurred, including an estimate of future medical expenses that you may incur.
- A decrease in earning power as a result of the injury — In this case, the plaintiff is unable to upgrade their position as a result of incapacitation, thus rendering them to a lesser paying position.
- Disability or disfigurement — This takes into account all aspects of the victim’s life and what he/she stands to lose, considering the reduced quality of life as a result of the accident incurred.
- Emotional pain or anguish — This is classified as non-economic damage. Most people are left traumatized by accidents. Thus, they develop issues like Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder(PTSD) that needs adequate compensation.
- Expenses incurred as a result of paying for someone to help you perform daily chores.
- Loss of a spouse or companion or relationships — This is also tied to non-economic damages. A relationship could suffer as a result of an injury or even result in losing a spouse altogether because of unfulfillment or other issues that could arise as a result of the injury incurred over an accident. This is also termed as the loss of consortium.
- Damage to property — This covers the obvious damage to any property involved in the accident. It could be a bike, a laptop, the cost of repairs for a car, etc.
Statute of Limitations in Florida
When you or your loved one is injured or sustains an injury, you should seek redress within a stipulated time. In Florida, the time limit set is up to four years after the injury occurred. However, we advise that you seek legal counsel as soon as your doctor has cleared your health status and declared you fit enough to pursue a case because some cases have a short timeframe. Contact our Bunnell personal injury attorney to have your case set in motion.
Personal Injury Case Timeline and What You Should do After an Accident in Florida
Have you had an accident and had your life disrupted by an injury, and you do not know how to go about filing a Personal Injury lawsuit? Look no further. Our attorneys have extensive experience in handling personal injury cases and will advise you accordingly with regards to your case since timelines could vary from case to case.
Here are the general steps that you should take:
- Seek Medical Attention
This is the first and vital step soon after an accident has occurred. If possible, before leaving the accident scene, ensure you have collected witness contact information, if you are able, take photos of the scene of the incident and call the police to the scene. This information will help you once you are fit enough to pursue compensation.
- Consult an Experienced Bunnell Personal Injury Attorney
Once you have determined that your health is stable, contact our experienced attorney, who will advise you on the next course of action to take. An experienced lawyer familiar with Florida Statutes will be able to explain if you have a case to take to trial or settle. This is an important phase, no matter how minor your accident was. You should consult an experienced lawyer before talking to the insurance company to avoid providing information that could jeopardize your case.
- Claims and Medical Records Investigation
Armed with all your medical records from all the hospitals you have visited following the accident, witness accounts and contact information, police reports, photos of the injuries suffered and of the accident scene, notes of any surveillance cameras within the vicinity of the accident scene and any other necessary evidence collected, your lawyer will conduct a thorough interview with you to collect all the information about the case from you. You should disclose all your medical information, including pre-existing medical conditions. Your attorney will also collect all the medical bills incurred over the course of the treatment during their investigations.
- File an Insurance Claim or Settlement
Your personal injury lawyer will reach out to the insurance company of the defendant to try and reach a fair and acceptable settlement. It is very common for most cases to end at this stage. For more serious cases with more severe damages, the case proceeds past this stage on to the trial phase.
- File the Lawsuit
If settlement seems impossible to reach, a lawsuit is filed against the at-fault parties. Your lawyer will file a complaint in the Circuit Court within the county where the incident occurred in Florida. The defendant will then be served with the complaint against him/her through his/her lawyers and is given 20 days to answer the allegations.
- Pre-Trial Phase
This is the phase that typically involves discovery. Discovery means that each party investigates and collects all information regarding the case. This includes the claims and defenses from the other party. Many personal injury cases are settled at this point with the help of a mediator to avoid the process of going into a trial.
When mediation fails, the case is taken up to the courts for a full trial. A trial date is set by the court. Trials tend to vary from case to case and can take different timelines from a few hours or days to more lengthy timelines. The plaintiff should understand the trial process and the unpredictability of the outcome of a case being tried by a jury. At trial, the judge or the jury appointed by the court decides the party at fault. At this point, a monetary award is issued based on the findings of the court.
However, the at-fault party may not be happy with the ruling and chose to appeal the verdict of the court or some issues of the case. In this case, the trial period extends until a fair and acceptable ruling is achieved.
Note that not all cases will follow the exact steps as outlined, depending on their complexity. Our personal injury attorneys are always happy to walk you through each unique case to ensure that you are fully compensated for the life-changing injuries sustained.
Find a Personal Injury Attorney Near Me
An accident could throw all your plans and future undertakings into disarray while leaving you in utter confusion and stress. Having a plan on the course of action to take after an injury is essential for your overall well-being. Contact our Bunnell personal injury attorney at the Jacksonville Personal Injury Attorney today at 904-800-7557 to get expert legal help in seeking fair compensation.