A personal injury case is where one person suffers harm and another person (or entity like a company) can be held responsible for causing that harm. The person responsible is liable for the harm they caused and can legally be required to pay compensation to the injured party.
If you have been injured in an accident or as the result of negligence or actions of another, then you may have legal recourse to recover any losses you experienced through a personal injury lawsuit. It is recommended to consult a Lakeland personal injury lawyer to assess whether or not you have grounds for a case, the types of losses (damages) that you can sue for, and the amount you can sue for.
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What Should I Do After An Injury?
After suffering an injury in Lakeland, Florida, taking these steps can help significantly when filing a claim:
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible – your health is of primary concern after an injury. Visit an emergency room or a doctor as soon as possible after being injured. Keep all your medical records of treatments you received, doctor’s notes, and bills. You may also want to take photos of your injury.
- Take photos or videos – Document the scene of where the injury occurred, what caused the injury, and any other pertinent evidence.
- Write down names – Take down the names and contact details of any person that may have witnessed the event that caused your injury. They can be contacted at a later date to make a statement or even testify on your behalf.
- Report the accident to a relevant person in authority – The owner of a building, manager of a business, a supervisor in the workplace, or the police in the case of a car accident.
- Don’t admit fault – Don’t say anything that could be construed as admitting fault. Other than providing contact, insurance, and injury information, it is best not to say anything at all until your lawyer is present.
- Contact an attorney – Call a lawyer to find out what you should do next.
Why Do I Need A Lawyer?
- A lawyer will assess your personal injury case and prepare it for filing a lawsuit.
- Lawyers will negotiate with the liable party, their lawyers, or insurance providers in order to ensure that you receive fair compensation for your losses.
- Present your case in court and provide you with expert legal representation every step of the way.
In most cases, it is recommended to settle a personal injury case out of court. Court trials can be lengthy and costly plus there is no certainty about the outcome. You can never be sure if the judge and jury will rule in your favor or what amount will be awarded to you. However, if the liable party refuses to settle or offers a settlement amount below what is fair, your lawyer will take your case to court on your behalf.
What Types Of Damages Can I Recover In Lakeland, Florida?
Damages refer to the losses that you experienced as a result of your injuries. There are three categories for damages that you can claim for in the state of Florida:
Economic damages refer to losses to which an exact monetary amount can be attributed. For example, medical expenses and loss of income both current and in the future. Damage to property and increased household costs such as hiring a cleaner or garden service to help with chores can also form part of a lawsuit in Florida.
Non-economic damages refer to losses that were suffered to which no exact monetary value can be attributed. For example, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, disfigurement, impairment, and loss of consortium or companionship. The amount that is attributed to non-economic damage is relative to the amount of suffering that the injured party experienced.
Punitive damages are awarded when the liable party was found to be unduly reckless or willful in their behavior that caused the injury. The aim is to prevent the party from performing the behavior again by punishing them financially. However, the injured party benefits from punitive damages over and above their other claims for damages. It must be noted that the courts rarely award punitive damages.
How Is Liability Determined?
The state of Florida practices comparative negligence when it comes to personal injury cases. This assigns a degree of fault and therefore liability to each party involved in the cause of the injury. While the degree of fault does not prevent the injured party from filing a lawsuit, the amount of compensation they receive will be relative to the degree of fault.
For instance, if you are found to have been 40% at fault in causing your own injury, the other party will only be required to pay 60% of the damages that are awarded. It is highly recommended to consult a lawyer to determine the degree of fault and liability that exist in your personal injury case.
Four elements are used to determine liability:
- Duty of Care is the responsibility that each person has to prevent harm from coming to another person either through their negligence or intentional actions.
- Breach of Duty of Care is where the party was negligent in providing a duty of care.
- Causation requires proof that the breach of duty of care was the cause of the injury or the event that resulted in the injury.
- Damages require that the injured party must prove that they suffered a loss as a result of the injury.
How Much Time Do I Have to File A Personal Injury Claim In Florida?
The statute of limitations for personal injury cases in the state of Florida is four years. This means that you have exactly four years from the date that the injury occurred to file your lawsuit.
How Much Will A Lakeland Personal Injury Lawyer Cost?
Florida Lawyers 360 works on a contingency basis. This means that our legal fees are contingent, or dependent, on winning your case. If you don’t receive any compensation, then we don’t get paid. When we do win your case, we will charge a small percentage of the amount that is awarded or the settlement to cover our legal fees.
Types Of Personal Injury Cases We Handle At Florida Lawyers 360
Personal injury cases can take many different forms. At Florida Lawyers 360 we specialize in handling the following types of personal injury cases:
If you have been injured as the result of the negligence or actions of another person, you may have grounds to sue for any losses you have suffered as a result of your injury.