Did someone else's negligence cause you to be injured in an accident in Florida? Your medical bills, lost income, and emotional distress can all be compensated in a personal injury claim if this is the case. You can fight for a larger financial recovery with the help of our Florida-based personal injury lawyers. You'll need an experienced legal team if you're going up against an insurance company. To speak with one of Herman & Wells's personal injury lawyers, please call (727) 821-3195.
Do You Have a Viable Personal Injury Case in Florida?
If you are considering a personal injury lawsuit in Florida, you’ll want to know if you have a strong case. In the end, the truth of the matter is that, when it comes to the law, there is never anything like a guaranteed victory. As a matter of fact, there are times when seemingly uncomplicated cases can lead to an undesirable outcome for the party who has been injured. However, there are some scenarios in which an injured party has a strong chance of receiving the compensation and justice they deserve. Personal injury cases are likely to succeed if you have the following factors:
1) The Defendant Admitted Fault
When your attorney prepares your personal injury case for trial, admissions of fault can be the most powerful tool in their arsenal. The allegedly responsible party may admit to their role in the accident in many instances where the plaintiff and defendant communicated prior to the lawsuit. Let us say, for instance, that you were injured at your workplace. You receive a text from your boss apologizing for the injury caused by unsafe work conditions on your way to the hospital. In reality, they later claim they weren't at fault in an attempt to avoid having their insurance premiums skyrocket. Despite their backtracking, they have admitted their mistake, which is invaluable documentation.
2) The Incident Was Caught on Camera
With today's advanced smartphone technology and increased surveillance, it's possible for your accident to be captured on camera. Providing video or photographic evidence that corroborates your story and shows the defendant was negligent could improve your chances at trial. Witness testimony is useful, but there is nothing more compelling than being able to examine the accident exactly as it occurred.
3) You’ve Suffered Severe Injuries
The reality is that sometimes people abuse the legal system by fabricating or overstating injuries in order to get a quick payday. There are scams where scammers squirt water on the floor of a business and then feign a fall, in hopes of suing the business for easy money. In these cases, the plaintiff often suffers minor injuries that have not been validated or verified by a medical professional. Even the most committed scammer won't severely injure themselves for money. You have a stronger case if your injuries are severe and can be confirmed by a medical professional, as this proves to the judge and jury that you did not hurt yourself intentionally.
4) There’s a History of Similar Events
Having a pattern of behavior or a history of similar incidents may work in your favor when you intend to sue another person or business. As a simple example, suppose you were injured after slipping and falling on a rickety staircase at a local business. In an investigation, your attorney discovers that the business neglected to make the repairs necessary to bring the staircase up to code despite dozens of other customers experiencing similar problems. Clearly, you were not the only victim of this establishment's negligence, as you are just one of many who have suffered because of their inability to remedy an unsafe situation. In cases where there has been a pattern of negligent behavior, juries and judges are more likely to award significant damages.
5) You’ve Been Diligent in Pursuing Your Case
Having a track record of diligence is necessary when presenting your case at trial. It means you followed the advice of your medical professionals and sought all the necessary medical care in a timely manner. Additionally, it means you haven't hesitated to contact your insurance provider or legal counsel. It is crucial that you demonstrate that you are serious about your recovery and treatment. When you sought medical assistance or an attorney months after the alleged incident, it looks bad for your argument.
What Types of Compensation Are You Entitled To in a Personal Injury Case?
A plaintiff can recover compensation for certain types of damages resulting from his or her injuries. Personal injury lawsuits are filed to seek compensation, or "damages," for the harms suffered by the plaintiff. The idea is to compensate an injury victim so that they are not on the hook for the financial consequences of the act of another.
A personal injury lawsuit can award you several types of compensatory damages, some of which are "economic" and related to the costs incurred following an injury, and some of which are non-economic, or more subjective. It depends on where you live and/or where the injury occurred as to what's available and how (and if) they're limited.
An individual involved in a personal injury accident might require medical attention. For immediate injuries, this can involve tests, treatment, hospitalizations, and outpatient care. These are not always the only options available. It could also be necessary to receive ongoing medical care, especially if there are serious or permanent injuries. These expenses can add up quickly. Medical bills for the injured can exceed tens of thousands of dollars. In an ideal world, the damages assessed against the defendant would cover all of this.
As a result of your injury, you missed work. Perhaps you took some sick time to go to a doctor's appointment or maybe you were in the hospital and had to take time off. It could also be that you suffered a severe injury and are unable to work. You may be entitled to compensation if you miss a few days of work or are unable to work going forward.
Pain and Suffering
The amount of compensation you receive is based on the type of injury you sustained and what medical treatment you received. The plaintiff must have as much evidence as possible to prove the harm caused by another's negligence in order to receive compensation of this kind, which can exceed a million dollars in a jury trial.
It is important to keep track of the extent and duration of recovery following an injury through medical records, which can include diagnoses, prescriptions, clinical visits, and hospital stays.
However, you can only achieve this if you are proactive about your treatment and communicate with your physician effectively. Keep written records of your symptoms and take photos and videos of your injuries.
Compensation is based on the mental and emotional state of an injured person following an accident. Severe injuries don't necessarily affect just the physical person. The mental trauma a personal injury victim experiences may range from anxiety and depression to post-traumatic stress disorder, depending on the nature of the accident. In order to receive damages from emotional distress, you typically need comprehensive and accurate records from your therapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist, as well as a diagnosis of a specific mental illness.
Pros of Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer in Florida vs Handling Your Own Claim
You may be able to file a claim against the other party through insurance or Small Claims Court on your own in some circumstances. In other situations, you may also need the assistance and advice of a qualified legal professional. Here are some benefits of hiring a personal injury lawyer in Florida as opposed to handling a case on your own:
- A lawyer can help you ensure that you receive all of the damages you are entitled to.
- You can maximize your recovery with the help of lawyers who are experts in negotiation.
- When you are represented by an attorney, insurers and defendants may take your claim more seriously.
Represented Plaintiffs Tend to Receive Larger Settlements
It is estimated that the average person receives a 3 12.6 times larger settlement with legal assistance than without it, according to a 1999 study by the Insurance Research Council. This is especially relevant in personal injury settlements.
Choosing to Settle vs Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
When you work with a Florida personal injury lawyer, you will be presented with a settlement from the liable party at some point, maybe even several times. You must decide if this is enough and if you are willing to settle. Consult with your lawyer to find out whether the settlement is fair. Taking your chances with a court trial may be your best option if you don't believe the settlement is fair. While there is no way to guarantee that you'll win the case if you go to court, this is just another reason you should hire a personal injury attorney with extensive trial experience in Florida.
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Personal Injury Settlement for Injured Teenager
Our client, a teenager, was severely injured as a passenger. After gathering the evidence, we persuaded all of the insurance companies involved to resolve the case for our client.
Intoxicated Driver Killed Father and Husband
We represented a family who lost their father and husband in an accident involving a truck driven by a driver believed to be under the influence. We filed a lawsuit on behalf of the family and after fighting for our clients, we were able to settle their case for $2,050,000.
How To Find The Best Personal Injury Lawyer in Florida for Your Case
When selecting the right personal injury lawyer for your case, there are a few things to consider. Many options are available, and you might find that sorting through them is overwhelming. The industry may have a bad reputation, but there are still many good personal injury lawyers out there. Read on to find out how.
Ask About Their Success Rate
You need an attorney with more experience than just handling personal injury cases. A few cases do go to trial, but the vast majority of personal injury claims are settled between the parties before a lawsuit is ever filed. A personal injury attorney should have successfully negotiated settlements and litigated cases all the way to a jury verdict. Determine the attorney's success rate. They probably don't have a high rating if they can't provide it.
Ask for Referrals
A lot of people know someone who has had a personal injury or workers' compensation case, so ask your friends and family if they had a good experience with a lawyer. A referral list helps you find a starting point for interviewing lawyers. It is of course valuable information if someone had a negative experience with a lawyer. As soon as you cross them off your list, you can move on to the next prospect.
Work on Contingency
Attorneys charge hundreds of dollars per hour for their services. After being injured, you probably cannot afford to pay for this out of your own pocket. A reputable personal injury lawyer works on contingency. They are not paid until you are compensated. Contingency amounts typically range from 25% to 40%, so look for an attorney whose fees fall within those ranges. They'll take a cut from your winnings, and good ones include legal fees in the final settlement to ensure that you get the most out of it.
Choose Someone You Can Get Along With
Getting a fair settlement for a personal injury case can be a long road to regaining your health. There will be ups and downs in this journey and you will want to feel comfortable with the conversations you have with your lawyer. It is therefore important to choose a personal injury lawyer with whom you will get along. The attorney will listen to you, answer your questions, and explain things in a manner that makes sense to you. You believe that the attorney is looking out for your best interests. You might want to go to someone else if you feel that they are just taking the case for the money.
A Professional Office
There are many moving parts in a personal injury case, including deadlines that must be met to continue settlement negotiations or comply with court demands. To perform their job effectively, a lawyer should maintain a professional office. Nowadays, that could mean a more traditional law office or an office at home.
During the COVID Pandemic, Herman & Wells became a hybrid law firm. While we love our primary offices in Pinellas Park, we also have attorneys and paralegals who work from a professional office situated in their own homes. This modern approach has helped us grow with personal injury lawyers in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Seminole, Tallahassee, Lakewood Ranch, Bradenton, and Sarasota.
Pick a lawyer whose office is organized and whose files are well organized. You should also expect your lawyer to be on time when meeting with you and to respond promptly to your inquiries.
Interview Multiple Personal Injury Lawyers
Speaking to multiple lawyers will help you identify who is best suited to your needs. Comparing their experience, costs, and office environment will let you see how they stack up. By meeting with multiple attorneys, you can also get a sense of what to expect from the case. The answers will give you an idea of what your case challenges might be and what your chances of succeeding are. People who seem overconfident about their success may not be able to back it up.
What Types of Cases Do Our Florida Personal Injury Lawyers Handle?
Our personal injury lawyers handle a wide range of cases for clients in Pinellas and throughout Florida. We offer a free legal consultation for those who believe they have a viable personal injury case. You can call our personal injury law firm at (727) 821-3195. There will be no pressure to hire us. Whether or not you have a case, we'll be honest with you from the beginning. Unless we are successful in recovering compensation for you, you owe us nothing.
What’s the Best Way to Learn What Your Florida Personal Injury Claim is Worth?
It depends on the situation, which you don't want to hear, but it's true. The following list represents various factors that impact personal injury claims here in Florida:
- The type of accident you're involved in
- The extent and severity of your injuries
- If you are temporarily or permanently unable to return to work
- The emotional impact of the accident trauma and resulting injuries
- Damaged property that needs to be replaced or repaired
- Shared responsibility for the accident (and how much)
- Liability for your injuries
There's no way for us to tell you what your claim is really worth without getting the opportunity to speak and learn the specific details of your case. This is why it is always worth requesting a free legal consultation with the personal injury lawyers at Herman & Wells. After hearing your story, reviewing the details of your incident, and assessing the potential cost of your medical treatments, we can provide you with a preliminary estimate for your personal injury claim or bodily injury claim.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Florida Personal Injury Lawyers
Some cases can be resolved during the pre-litigation phase of the claim. Other cases require litigation or trial.
A personal injury claim can take months or years to resolve and each case is unique. Most cases begin with our firm gathering information about your case and about the party responsible for your injuries. We investigate your claim and deal with the insurance company while you concentrate on making the fullest and best recovery possible. After investigating the facts, we present the case to the insurance company in an effort to get you the compensation you deserve without resorting to litigation.
But sometimes an insurance company refuses to act reasonably and we must file a personal injury lawsuit. When we file suit, we are prepared to personally see the case through all the way to a jury trial.
We believe that preparing a case for a personal injury trial is essential to settling a case for its maximum value.