Serious injuries impact your life physically, financially, and emotionally. When your injuries are due to the careless actions of someone else, a personal injury lawyer can help you fight for justice and compensation. Finding the right personal injury lawyer for your accident is important for achieving the best outcome possible for your case. If you suffered injuries due to negligence, consider discussing your legal options with a personal injury lawyer.
What are Examples of Personal Injury Cases
Pursuing a civil claim and lawsuit involves proving negligence. This refers to the responsible party’s failure to use the same level of care another person would use in similar circumstances.
Key components important to your personal injury case include:
- The defendant owed you, or a loved one, a duty of care.
- The defendant failed to act in a way that protected you from harm, resulting in their negligence.
- The defendant’s negligence caused your injuries.
- The damages you or your family sustained are due to the defendant’s negligence.
Your accident injuries may involve negligence if the accident was due to:
- A drunk driver: According to the latest data from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), there were 352 alcohol confirmed fatal crashes and 2,984 alcohol confirmed injury crashes involving injury during a recent year.
- A distracted driver: The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 9 people died in distracted driving-related crashes each day in the United States and 1,000 people experience serious injuries.
- An aggressive driver: Aggressive driving includes such behaviors as purposely tailgating, speeding, and weaving in and out of traffic.
- A drowsy driver: A lack of sleep or an undiagnosed sleep disorder can cause a driver to drift off the road and into your lane.
- A slip and fall accident: Slipping on a wet floor due to a spill is just one example of possible property owner negligence.
While car accidents are among the leading causes of personal injury cases, there are other types of accidents involving negligence. If you are unsure if your case qualifies for a personal injury claim and lawsuit, you may want to contact a personal injury lawyer today.
Negligence and Your Injuries
When someone is negligent, you may experience life-changing injuries. The following types of injuries can result in mounting medical costs that can continue throughout your lifetime:
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
A bump, blow, jolt to the head, or penetrating head injury disrupts normal brain function, according to the CDC. If a loved one suffers a severe TBI, they may never exhibit the same personality as they did before the accident. Their need for continuous care may require a skilled nursing facility. These types of facilities can average as much as $8,000 per month.
Spinal Cord Injury
The spinal cord performs the important function of relaying and receiving information regarding movement and sensation with the brain. When a spinal cord injury occurs, this communication is often disrupted.
There are two types of spinal cord injuries: complete and incomplete. A complete injury generally results in little to no sensation or movement below the point of injury. An incomplete injury often involves some sensation and movement below the injury. A spinal cord injury can require home modifications and other costs that can continue into the patient’s lifetime.
These are just two of the serious injuries possible due to negligence. Other types of injuries include burns, internal bleeding, and broken bones. With rising medical costs and reduced or no income, the stress of your injuries can disrupt your rest and recovery.
The costs associated with such serious injuries are not fair, and pursuing compensation is a possibility. A personal injury lawyer can determine if your case qualifies for a civil case.
Ask Those Closest to You
Some of the best sources for finding a personal injury lawyer are friends and family. With more than 400,000 crashes in Florida during a recent year and more than half resulting in serious injuries, chances are someone you know needed a lawyer.
Research shows that 92 percent of consumers trust the recommendation of friends and family for products and services from a lawyer. Discussing your accident with those you trust is perhaps the best, proactive step toward finding a personal injury lawyer.
Most personal injury law firms offer free case evaluations. Taking advantage of this free service can help you in two ways:
- 1. Determine if you have a case.
- 2. Determine if the firm is a good fit for you.
Every personal injury case is different. By discussing your accident with those closest to you, it is often easier to determine which personal injury lawyer is right for your case.
How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You
Personal injury lawyers strive to help accident victims secure the best outcome possible for their accident.
A personal injury lawyer can help you in the following ways:
- Review evidence and determine liability: A lawyer can review police reports, photos of your accident, and interview witnesses to learn the facts of your case and to identify all parties liable for your injuries.
- Negotiate with insurance companies: Having a lawyer on your side means they can protect your best interests with insurance companies.
- Represent you in court, if necessary: If negotiations with an insurance company fail to secure a fair settlement, a personal injury lawyer can take your case to trial.
A personal injury lawyer can provide the legal guidance you need during this stressful time. Your injuries require rest and the last thing you need are insurance companies pressuring you to accept less than you deserve.
Most personal injury lawyers can spot deceptive measures by insurance companies to underpay accident victims. By allowing a personal injury lawyer to handle the details of your case, you can rest easier knowing someone is at work on your behalf.
How You Can Help Your Case
There are several ways you can help your case, either at the accident scene or immediately following your accident:
- Do not accept fault for the accident: while it is often human nature to apologize, do not tell the other party you are sorry.
- Do cooperate with responding law enforcement: providing your account of what happened is important for the official accident report.
- Do take pictures and video: Smartphones can serve as valuable evidence collecting tools.
- Ask witnesses for their contact information: if your injuries prevent you from doing so, ask someone at the scene to help you collect this important information.
- Do not speak with insurance agents without legal representation: accepting a settlement on your own can prevent you from pursuing compensation later, should your medical condition worsen.
One of the most important steps you must take after a serious accident is to accept medical transport to the hospital. You may feel fine following the initial impact of your car accident or fall, however, injuries like that of internal bleeding often exhibit no symptoms.
Your medical reports are important for your case and for pursuing compensation for your medical costs. Always accept medical transport—it can save your life.
What are the Common Types of Compensation Possible
There is no way to predict the outcome of your personal injury case, however, common types of compensation include:
- Medical costs associated with your transport, hospital costs, and doctors’ fees
- Ongoing medical costs associated with especially traumatic injuries like a TBI or spinal cord injury
- Loss of income due to the time missed from work due to your recovery
- Diminished earning capacity if you can’t return to your previous career due to your injuries
- Pain and suffering
If the person responsible for your accident faces criminal charges, you retain your right to pursue a civil case. Their criminal case will not result in your recovering compensation.
Many personal injury lawyers offer their services on a contingent fee basis. If you think you cannot afford a lawyer, the truth is you cannot afford to not secure legal representation for your case.
Your injuries and resulting medical appointments, procedures, and treatments leave you no time to handle your case alone. Discuss your options for a personal injury lawyer by asking friends and family about their personal experiences.
Negligence and the Death of a Loved One
Losing a loved one in a tragic accident is devastating. While money is typically the last thing on your mind, the bills do not stop as you mourn. The costs associated with a funeral and burial can easily reach into the thousands. You must produce this large sum quickly due to the untimely and sudden death of your loved one.
A wrongful death claim and lawsuit is often a possibility, depending upon your relationship with the victim.
If successful, your wrongful death case can help with the following damages:
- Final medical costs for your loved one
- Funeral and burial costs
- Loss of income
- Loss of potential future earnings
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of inheritance
These are just a few examples of the types of compensation generally awarded in wrongful death cases. Like personal injury cases, a lawyer often starts the pursuit of justice by negotiating with an insurance company. If this is unsuccessful, they are ready to go to trial.
Wrongful death cases are complex and challenging. It is an extremely emotional time, requiring you to choose a personal injury lawyer who is caring and empathetic with you yet determined when it comes to your case.
Why You Must Act Quickly
The statute of limitations is just that—a limitation for how long you have to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. Missing the deadline for filing your case can leave you with no legal options for pursuing compensation, thus making it imperative you act quickly.
Different states have different statutes. Florida law, for example, allows four years for filing a personal injury lawsuit and two years for filing a wrongful death lawsuit. This may seem like a long time, however, it can pass before you know it. The statute of limitations regarding your case is a serious matter and you cannot afford to miss your opportunity for taking legal action.
To prepare the best case possible, a lawyer needs time to examine all evidence associated with your accident. If you experienced serious injuries due to no fault of your own or you lost a loved one, consider contacting a personal injury lawyer now.
How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You
When you experience a serious injury due to negligence, you deserve to fight for compensation. The changes to your life are not fair and the person responsible for your injury must face accountability for their actions.
A personal injury lawyer can help you when it comes to representing you while you recover. By providing updates regarding your case, they can keep you informed so you understand how your case is progressing.
The details and outcome of a friend or family member’s personal injury case apply to their specific case. While your injuries and accident were different, their trust and recommendation can mean a great deal when so much is on your mind.
If you experienced serious injuries, or lost a loved one, due to the negligence of another person, give careful thought to contacting a personal injury lawyer without delay. Finding the right lawyer for you is as easy as asking people you know for a recommendation. Listen to what they have to say and then do some research.
The decision is ultimately yours. Whomever you choose to represent you, make your decision as soon as possible. Select your lawyer, contact them for a free case evaluation, and gather your evidence. By working together with the right personal injury lawyer, you can have better peace of mind that your case is in good hands.
Michael T. Gibson, P.A., Auto Justice Attorney
2420 S. Lakemont Avenue
Orlando, FL 32814