There are hundreds of thousands of injuries that occur every year in Florida. More than 230,000 injuries occur from vehicle accidents alone. Knowing what to do and who to call after a serious injury can make the recovery process much easier. If the injury was the fault of a third party, faulty equipment, or unsafe conditions; then the injured party has a legal right to compensation.
Personal injury claims are some of the most common cases we handle in West Palm Beach. Every day, we work with clients who have been wrongfully injured due to the recklessness or negligence of someone else. Our personal injury lawyer in west Palm Beach fights to ensure that those people responsible pay for the damages they have caused.
Overcoming a serious injury can be an expensive endeavor. There are medical fees, ongoing rehabilitation, and lost wages to account for. You need a legal team that can get you the compensation you truly deserve. Contact us today at 877-783-4611 for a full consultation.
What Should I Do After an Injury?
These are the steps you should take directly after your injury or accident:
Seek Medical Treatment
Ensuring your personal safety should be a top priority. If you are seriously harmed, then you should contact emergency medical services. It’s also important that you keep all records relating to your treatment. You will need to be able to show evidence of exact injuries and the cost of medical treatment. There are a few additional steps you can take at the scene of the accident if you are able.
Get Photographic Evidence
Every piece of evidence you can collect will make it that much easier to prove your case. You should try to take photos and videos of the accident as well as any injuries. Ensure that you include as much visual information in the photos as possible. If there is property damage involved, then take pictures of this as well.
Get the Names and Phone Numbers of Any Witnesses
Having witnesses corroborate your story will strengthen your claim. If you notice anyone around at the time of the accident you should ask for their name and contact information. Witness testimonies can be useful when negotiating with insurance companies. They are also very useful when claims are forced to go to trial.
Report the Incident
Every accident should be reported to the proper authorities. This initial report is usually the beginning of the evidence chain. If you do not report the accident when it occurs, then the insurance company will doubt the reliability of your claim. Most accidents can be reported to the local police. Injuries that happen at work should be reported to the appropriate supervisor.
Do Not Admit Fault
Never admit to being the cause of the accident even if you think you are. If you admit fault early on, but later realize you were wrong, it will be significantly more difficult to prove your case. Do not admit fault to the police, medical professionals, witnesses, or anyone else involved in the accident. Wait until you’ve had time to review the evidence and speak with an attorney.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
Last, but not least, you should contact a local personal injury attorney. Steinberg Law employs the best personal injury lawyers in the West Palm Beach area. You should consider contacting our office as soon as possible following an injury. Our legal professionals will be able to help you with every step of the claims process while you focus on recovering.
What Will a Lawyer Do for Me?
This is how hiring a personal injury lawyer in West Palm Beach will make your life easier after your injury:
Case Prep & Filing
An experienced personal injury lawyer will help from the beginning of the case until the end. In most cases, it ends with a settlement, but some select cases do make it to trial. Our first objective is to gather as much evidence as possible and begin the filing process. Collecting evidence, interviewing witnesses, and filing paperwork can take several months on average. It’s a good idea to get this process started as soon as possible so that you can receive compensation as soon as possible.
Ideally, we can end cases with a settlement that properly covers all of the damages you have suffered. Insurance companies rarely start with a good offer. It can take lengthy negotiations before they are prepared to pay what is right. The evidence we can gather and our understanding of personal injury laws help ensure that we always come out on top.
If the insurance company is not prepared to make a fair settlement offer, then we can take the claim to court and prove your case in front of a judge. This will require a period for trial presentation and then representation in the courtroom. This phase can also stretch for several months if the insurance company chooses to waste time.
What Types of Damages Can Be Recovered in Florida?
There are three different types of damages that you may be able to recover in Florida:
Economic damages provide the plaintiff with compensation for any specific financial losses caused by the injury. A large portion of these damages is often dedicated to past and future medical treatment. That can include hospital visits, medications, surgery, and rehabilitation. Economic damages also cover lost income, property repair, and a loss of services.
Non-economic damages lack a straightforward monetary value. They provide compensation for losses that are not financial in nature. The most common example of this is pain and suffering. These damages can also include compensation for disfigurement, a loss of a relationship, a loss of self-worth, and various types of emotional damage. They are more difficult to quantify but are still an important part of the recovery process.
Punitive damages are viewed as a form of additional punishment often awarded by the jury. They do not represent any specific damages to the defendant. Instead, they provide punishment for gross misconduct, recklessness, or intentionally malicious behavior. They are not commonly awarded in personal injury cases.
How Do They Determine Liability in Florida?
Proving liability in the state of Florida requires proving that the defendant acted negligently. Proving negligence happens in 4 different stages.
Stage 1: Prove Duty of Care
In the first stage, we will show that the defendant owed a legal duty of care to the plaintiff. The specifics of that duty can vary according to the accident and the people involved. Motorists have a duty of care to everyone else who uses the road. Businesses have a duty of care to their customers.
Stage 2: Prove a Breach of That Duty
Next, we show that the defendant breached that legal duty outlined in the previous stage. A motorist who drives drunk or ignores signs has breached their duty of care. A business that knowingly sells faulty or dangerous products has breached its duty as well.
Stage 3: Show Causation
All damages and compensation in the case must originate from the injuries caused by the breach of duty. For example, if a business sells a faulty product and it electrocutes a customer causing serious burns, then there is a clear link of causation.
Stage 4: Link Damages
Finally, we show that all damages mentioned in the claim are related to the specific injuries mentioned above. We cannot pursue compensation for damages related to a separate incident even if they occurred within a short time frame.
Alternative: Negligence Per Se
Florida has “negligence per se” laws that ultimately help boost public safety. If the plaintiff committed an action that violated regulations relating to public safety, then they can be found negligent per se. In these cases, we do not need to prove duty of care or breach of duty. Laws relating to speed limits and blood alcohol levels typically fall in this category.
How Much Time Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Claim in Florida?
The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim in Florida is exactly 4 years from the date of the accident. It’s always advisable to contact a lawyer and begin the claims process as early as possible. It’s easier to gather evidence early and cases can drag on for months or years.
How Much Will a West Palm Beach Personal Injury Lawyer Cost?
Personal injury attorneys in West Palm Beach work according to a contingency fee. That means that it costs no money up-front. The consultations are free and you only pay the lawyer if you win your claim. The average contingency fee falls between 10 and 35 percent of the settlement depending on the amount of work required for the case.
Types of Personal Injury Cases We Handle at Steinberg Law
Here are a few of the types of personal injury cases we have handled in the past:
Wrongful Death Cases
These are serious claims where the wrongful actions of the defendant resulted in someone’s death. These claims are typically filed by a surviving spouse or close relative. Wrongful death cases work very similarly to standard personal injury cases in terms of liability and damages.
Workers’ compensation insurance is designed to protect businesses from liability while also covering financial losses for employees. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work as it should. Insurance companies are known for denying claims and our lawyers are known for winning appeals.
Amusement Park Injuries
Florida is packed with amusement parks from the border to the beach. Orlando alone has 12 major amusement parks. With so many rides, attractions, and games, there are bound to be some serious accidents. In some cases, those accidents could have been prevented by the amusement park owner.
When an injury occurs we typically think of the person responsible as the only one who can be liable. However, if there is a negligent security force working at the time, then they may also be found liable for the damages caused. Security forces have a duty of care to create a safe environment for visitors.
Contact Our Personal Injury Lawyer in West Palm Beach
The number of personal injury cases that happen annually in Florida is alarming. Unfortunately, many of those people never get the compensation they deserve for their suffering. They don’t properly report accidents or seek legal assistance. Don’t become a part of that group. If you’ve recently suffered an injury, then pick up the phone and speak to a Steinberg Law personal injury attorney at 877-783-4611.