Fort Lauderdale Personal Injury Lawyer
A Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer acts as an advocate for injured parties. Accidents in Fort Lauderdale are inevitable, and everyone experiences an accident or injury at some point. A personal injury lawyer helps their clients secure compensation to help pay for any damages or losses from the accident. These losses can include expenses from the injuries themselves, such as medical bills, or expenses from the pain and suffering a negligent party caused you.
For 2018, the Florida Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) found that there were 403,626 auto accidents that resulted in crashes in Florida. Broward County accounted for 41,082 of those crashes, with 237 ending in fatalities. A common cause of car accident injuries is one party’s negligence. Other types of accidents account for millions of hospital visits per year in Fort Lauderdale and the United States.
Common Types of Fort Lauderdale Personal Injury Cases
Personal injury lawyers not only help car accident or motor vehicle accident crash victims but also victims of many other types of accidents as well. If a third party’s negligence was the cause of your injuries, you may be entitled to compensation. There are a wide range of personal injury claims one can file.
Our legal team here at Ward Law takes on various types of personal injury cases in Fort Lauderdale, including:
- Nursing Home Abuse – These types of lawsuits hold nursing home abusers and nursing homes themselves liable for any serious personal injury or minor injuries caused to a nursing home resident. The most common types of nursing home abuse lawsuits include negligence, neglect, or abuse that cause harm to the elderly patient or resident on the premises.
- Bus Accidents – Bus accidents are prevalent in cities with major mass transit systems. The laws around bus accidents can be complicated since buses fall under common carrier laws. However, we do advocate for those involved in bus accidents while on the bus, driving another vehicle, riding a bike, or walking along the street. Bus accidents can cause serious injuries, which you may be entitled to compensation for.
- Car Accidents – Car accidents occur every day in the United States and are therefore frequent types of cases to be filed for compensation. In 2019, Broward County had 41,114 crashes, which resulted in 23,671 injuries. No matter what kind of car accident caused your injuries, we can help advocate for your rights as an injury victim.
- Truck Accidents. Truck accidents are extremely dangerous accidents due to a truck’s immense weight, which can cause severe injuries to both the truck driver and other drivers. For Florida in 2019, there were 25 truck accidents that killed a driver, 115 truck accidents that incapacitated a driver, 429 truck accidents that caused a driver non-incapacitating injuries, and 759 truck accidents that caused possible injuries.
- Uninsured Motorists – Since Florida is a no-fault state, a driver’s auto insurance company will have to pay a majority of the auto accident claim, regardless of whether or not the driver was at fault. If a driver drives without auto insurance, which is against the law in Florida, that driver can face a lot of trouble, including license suspension, license plate confiscation, and potentially criminal charges. An experienced law firm will help you navigate these complex legal matters and give you competent legal advice.
- Boating Accidents – Boating is a part of life in South Florida and Fort Lauderdale. However, there are many boating accidents in Fort Lauderdale and over one-third of these involve driver intoxication. The boat owner and the driver can both be held liable for any injuries they may have caused you.
- Bike Accidents – Fort Lauderdale has the highest rate of bike crashes in the area. This higher rate may be due to the greater number of tourists or the greater general population of bicyclists in the area; regardless, you may be entitled to compensation if you experienced an unexpected injury while riding your bike.
- Lyft and Uber Accidents – Uber and Lyft have completely overtaken the taxi industry in Fort Lauderdale and beyond. However, with the incredibly high rate of Uber and Lyft drivers operating throughout some of the city’s busiest streets, accidents are inevitable. Unlike other car accidents, crashes caused by Uber and Lyft drivers also bring liability to other parties, such as the Uber and Lyft companies themselves. An experienced lawyer can help you determine the best claims to pursue for successful results, ensuring that you receive maximum compensation for your injuries.
- Motorcycle Accidents – In 2019, there were 8,895 motorcycle accidents in Fort Lauderdale. These types of accidents can be especially dangerous since the motorcyclist does not have a car to protect them from injuries.
- Pedestrian Accidents – 2019 documented 9,736 pedestrian crashes that resulted in 6,369 injuries—1,524 were incapacitating injuries and 734 were fatal. Pedestrians are the most vulnerable people on the street, as they have nothing to protect them while they walk. A Traffic accident is a common occurrence and can result in high medical bills and emotional trauma.
- Slip-and-Fall Accidents – Property owners that fail to put the proper safety measures in place, for instances like wet floors, often cause injuries to people passing by or people invited onto their property. These property owners have a legal obligation to maintain safe premises on the site of their property, and if they cause you injuries by failing to do so, you may be entitled to compensation.
- Drunk Driving Accidents – Drunk driving can cause devastating injuries and fatalities. If a drunk driver caused an accident that left you or a loved one injured or resulted in the death of a loved one, you do not have to navigate the legal processes on your own; professional legal services are available.
- Traumatic Brain Injury and Spinal Cord Injury – Any kind of accident can cause traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injury. Both of these types of injuries may require extensive medical care that could last your entire life. You should not have to pay for those expenses on your own. If a negligent party caused your traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injury, you may be entitled to receive compensation to help pay for the medical costs and personal attention needed in your recovery.
- Wrongful Death – If someone else’s negligence caused you to lose a loved one, you could potentially pursue compensation for your pain and suffering (also called non-economic damages), loss of companionship, or loss of any expected future income from your loved one. While no amount of money can take away the pain you experience after a family member’s death, wrongful death claims can help alleviate unnecessary stress during these challenging times.
- Insurance Claims – An experienced personal injury lawyer can handle all communications with insurance companies and fight for your rights, even if an insurance claim was denied. You do not have to lose hope for your goal—the best lawyers will help you understand your insurance policy, your insurance claim, and how to use all resources to build a case that will support your needs.
No matter what the cause of your accident is, Ward Law has a team of Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyers with a proven track record of holding the responsible person accountable for injuries.
Common Injuries in Personal Injury Cases in Fort Lauderdale
Any type of accident can cause minor, major, and catastrophic injuries. The most common injuries in personal injury cases include:
- Brain Injuries
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Neck Injuries
- Head Injuries
- Broken Bones
- Internal Injuries
Each of these types of accidental injuries could bring lots of medical fees with the combined costs of initial medical evaluations, medical prescriptions, surgeries, rehabilitation, or any future medical issues that may arise due to the accident.
How does PIP Work in Fort Lauderdale, Florida?
PIP (Personal Injury Protection) is the “No-Fault” insurance required in Florida. Florida law requires all drivers to carry PIP to cover any injuries they might sustain in an accident. Again, this applies regardless of who was at fault. Therefore, even if the accident was not your fault, your insurance will still be required to cover the expenses up to a certain amount.
The FLHSMV insurance law states that before a driver is allowed to register a vehicle with a minimum of four wheels in Florida, the driver must show proof of the PIP and Property Damage Liability (PDL) automobile insurance.
What is the Minimum PIP Coverage in Florida?
Any vehicle registered in Florida must have a minimum of $10,000 in PIP and a minimum of $10,000 in PDL. The PIP coverage will cover up to 80% of the damages, up to $10,000.
Taxis, including Uber and Lyft drivers, must carry the following additional insurances:
- $125,000 per person for bodily injury liability (BIL) coverage
- $250,000 per accident
- $50,000 for PDL coverage
Florida Negligence Laws
Florida is a comparative negligence law state. This law states that if an individual is partially at fault for any accident that caused their own injuries, then that person’s recovery of damages will be reduced by the percentage that they were at fault for the accident. For example, say you were driving and going partially over the speed limit, but another car ran a stop sign. If the other driver can prove that your speeding was 10% of the cause of the accident, then the total damages you will receive will be reduced by 10%.
Who has to Pay for My Medical Bills After an Injury in Fort Lauderdale?
Since Florida is a no-fault state, the first place you would likely receive payments for your medical bills is your own insurance company. However, since the PIP only covers 80% of the expenses, up to $10,000, you can also seek compensation from the responsible party that caused your injuries for anything that requires more than the $10,000.
You can also look to other avenues to receive compensation, including:
- Additional insurance policies you may have
- The other party’s insurance company
- The negligent party’s employer
- Other third parties (such as a manufacturer of a vehicle, designer of a premises layout, or any other party that owed you a duty of care)
How Much Compensation Can I Receive After an Injury?
It depends. Each case is different and will entirely depend on an analysis of various factors involved in the accident. Some of the factors that go into evaluating the total amount of compensation for personal injury accidents include:
- Physical injuries
- Medical bills and other medical expenses
- Future medical costs
- Lost wages
- Future loss of income
- Emotional pain
- Pain and suffering
- Property damages
- Loss of companionship (in a wrongful death lawsuit)
This is a non-exhaustive list. It is crucial to contact a law firm staff with extensive experience to learn about what your potential compensation can be after an injury. No matter what type of injury you endure, the amount of damages will vary depending on your case.
What Should I do After an Accident in the Fort Lauderdale Area?
Any type of accident can be an overwhelming experience and it can be hard work to stay calm. However, after any accident, the best thing you can do is to follow these steps to ensure your safety and have all of the information you might need to pursue a claim:
- Seek medical attention for yourself and family members, even if you do not think you are injured (as injuries could appear later)
- Immediately report the accident to the police and any other relevant authorities
- Collect evidence (including photos of the accident scene, witness testimonies, any other parties’ information)
- Make your own statement on what happened
- Do not accept any settlement offers from insurance companies
- Contact an experienced personal injury attorney
- Keep track of all medical records and ensure you follow up with doctors’ appointments.
How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Claim?
Florida’s statute of limitations, meaning the deadline to file a claim, is four years from the date of the accident. This means that you must file your claim within four years from when the accident occurred to potentially receive compensation for your damages.
Do I Need a Fort Lauderdale Personal Injury Lawyer?
Yes. An experienced Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorney can help you navigate the complicated legal processes that often prevent people from receiving the justice they deserve when they don’t have the proper legal representation from injury attorneys. Some of the critical steps we take with our clients include:
- Providing potential clients with a free consultation on the facts of their case and whether or not they can make a claim. Make a free initial consultation today.
- Informing clients of what their rights are after an accident.
- Researching any relevant case law to support your claim.
- Drafting any paperwork and claims you may need to file.
- Ensuring that you file all necessary documents on time.
- Dealing with all communications with insurance companies and other parties.
- Giving legal counsel to clients throughout the entire process to ensure that you understand what is happening with your personal injury lawsuit every step of the way.
How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Fort Lauderdale Personal Injury Lawyer?
Many personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, meaning that they only get paid if you win your case or receive a settlement offer. This is our payment structure—no fee unless you recover compensation.
When Should I Contact a Ft. Lauderdale Personal Injury Law Firm?
Contact a firm as soon as possible. The sooner you get in personal touch with an experienced law firm, starting with a free legal consultation, the more likely you are to receive potential compensation. If a negligent party caused an accident in which you were injured, then fill out this contact form now for a free case evaluation to learn about your legal rights and whether you can take legal action.