As a personal injury attorney, I field a lot of inquiries. It makes perfect sense that a person working in a field other than law would have many questions. Among the most common are those that relate to the validity of a potential case.
Can I get compensation if my disability made the accident more likely?
After a slip and fall, a person can feel very embarrassed and confused, but it is important to understand that commercial property owners do have a responsibility to keep their premises safe.
So, assuming that you have recently broken your foot, and, therefore, are a bit unsteady, you might wonder if you can really file a claim against the property owners. Even if a person of perfect health might have better avoided the obstacle, you are still entitled to compensation, if it can be proven that the property owners were negligent. If they could have done something to prevent the fall, they will be considered liable and you can receive monetary compensation to assist with payments for medical bills and lost wages.
Can I sue if some of the fault was mine?
This question pops up most often after a St. Petersburg accident. The victim has suffered major injuries, and faces months upon months of rehabilitation. Yet, that person and his or her family often hesitate to sue because the victim played some role in the accident. Let’s assume, for instance, that this person had been speeding, going 12 or so miles an hour over the speed limit, when passing a side road. Another car pulled out into his or her lane of traffic and a collision resulted. Though the courts might rule that there is a shared negligence in the case, because, had the victim been traveling at a more reasonable pace, the accident might have been avoided, the majority of the fault will fall on the other person’s shoulders. The courts will determine what percentage of liability each player must assume, and those percentages will be used to calculate the deserved compensation.
Can I sue if I was hurt in a high risk location (i.e., gym)?
When a person was participating in a high risk activity at the time of his or her accident, the case may not be so cut and dry. Often it comes down to the liability waiver that was signed prior to the accident. Examples of this are sky diving, white water rafting, parasailing, or even working out at the local Saint Petersburg gym. Each comes with risk, and the owners of the companies realize this. Therefore, they often require participants to sign waiver forms. Depending on what those forms say, it may or may not be possible to sue for damages. That being said, it is never wise to forgo the lawsuit without speaking to a personal injury attorney. Even a total waiver of liability may be deemed invalid by the courts in some circumstances. So, it is always best to seek legal assistance.
There is no stupid question when it comes to personal injury law. You are not alone in your hesitations and your anxieties, but a good lawyer will be able to walk you through the whole process with confidence and assurance. In the end, the damages paid will be worth the period of uncertainty.