Serious injuries happen every day. If you’ve been injured in an accident in The Hammocks or the surrounding areas, don’t let it ruin your life or the lives of friends and family. Injury lawyers are available to get you the compensation you deserve and help with recovery.
What kind of accidents lead to personal injury claims?
Personal injury claims are possible for almost any conceivable accident. Some common types of personal injury cases include:
- Auto accidents
- car accidents
- motorcycle accidents
- Blboat accidentsck
- truck accidents
- pedestrian accidents
- drunk driving accidents
- Slips and falls
- Dog bites
- Nursing home abuse
- Medical malpractice suits
- Premises liability
- Defective product
What kind of injuries can I receive compensation for?
People can receive compensation for physical injuries and mental suffering. Common physical injuries include:
- Catastrophic injuries
- Head injuries
- Neck injuries
- Shoulder injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Birth injuries
Financial compensation for these types of injuries is called damages. There are three types of damages: economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.
These are quantifiable damages, such as:
- Expenses for medical care and medical treatment
- Lost income
- Property damage
- Any other costs directly attributed to the injury
There are two types of medical expenses – past and future. Past medical expenses can be readily quantified with medical bills and similar documentation. Future medical bills can be more challenging. Sometimes, an expert may be hired to review your medical issues. Using this information, they can help prove future medical expenses by testifying in court to the following future medical needs:
- Surgical procedures
- Prescription medications
- Lab tests, such as blood tests, X-rays, or MRIs
- Physical therapy
- Assistive devices, such as wheelchairs or prosthetics
Lost income also comes in two forms – past lost wages and future lost income. Past lost wages can be documented through previous pay stubs from your place of employment, although it can get more complicated if overtime is involved. Future lost income, also referred to as diminished earning capacity, may be reviewed and examined by an economist. They will assess your medical limitations and consider other profile factors, such as:
- Age. Are you 26 with a busy life and promising career goals in the future, or 62 and moving toward retirement?
- Industry. What’s the outlook of the industry you work in? Are you employed in a declining industry (like selling books in a brick-and-mortar store) or in a rapidly growing industry (like healthcare or app development)?
- Promotions. What possibilities do you have for future promotions in the corporation you are involved?
The economist can testify about these issues in court to help establish your lost income.
These damages compensate you for the losses and suffering you’ve endured due to your injuries and surrounding circumstances. The most common damages awarded are for pain and suffering. Unlike economic damages, pain and suffering are not easy to quantify. Instead, it’s up to the jury. Typically, a jury consider sensitive information and factors, such as:
- Documentation and testimony. This includes medical bills, photographs of the injury, your testimony, and the word of friends and family members.
- Severity. Some injuries, like burns, can cause extensive and long-term pain.
- Recovery time. This refers to the length of time it will take to recover from the injury. Did you suffer a broken leg, which can heal fairly quickly, or did you seriously injure your back, which can take years and multiple surgeries to recover from?
- Expert testimony. Medical experts can provide crucial testimonies about the pain associated with your injury and the way of recovery.
- Quantity of medical expenses. The more medical expenses you have, the higher the amount of damages a jury generally awards. It is crucial to solidly establish the extent of your past and future medical expenses, especially if there was severe damage done to your body in the accident.
Your personal injury attorney can present this information to the jury to help provide them with a compelling story of your personal pain and suffering. With an experienced attorney who is looking out for your best interests, your case in good hands.
These damages are intended to punish the responsible party for their misconduct and deter others from engaging in similar behavior. To be awarded punitive damages, the at-fault party must have acted with intent or gross negligence. For example, a drunk driver may be found liable for punitive damages because they likely acted with gross negligence when deciding to drink and drive.
How common are accidents in The Hammocks, Florida?
Traffic accident statistics for Miami-Dade County, in which The Hammocks, Miami, and Kendall are located, are startling. In a recent year, Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reported that 65,143 vehicle accidents occurred, resulting in 31,698 injuries and 298 fatalities.
The state of Florida is one of the most dangerous states to drive in. Statistics provided by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and Highway Loss Data Institute, compiled from the U.S. Department of Transportation, indicate that Florida is the ninth most dangerous state to drive in when measured by deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled.
Other accidents, such as slips and falls, personal injuries resulting from medical malpractice, and nursing home abuse, are also prevalent in The Hammocks and surrounding South Florida areas.
How can I prove negligence in my personal injury case?
Most personal injury cases are based on negligence, a legal theory that revolves around a person’s unreasonable behavior. For example, if a party acts unreasonably under the circumstances and causes injury to another, that party (the defendant) is said to be negligent. In Florida, the victim (or plaintiff) must prove four elements to establish negligence in a personal injury claim as follows:
- The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of acting reasonably under the circumstances.
- The defendant failed to meet the duty of care.
- The failure caused the plaintiff’s injury
- The plaintiff suffered an injury
To prove these elements in your personal injury lawsuit, the following information and evidence may be needed:
- Duty. This is normally established by the relationship between the defendant and victim. For example, if the plaintiff slips and falls in the defendant’s store, the business-customer relationship establishes a duty.
- Failure to meet the duty. The injured victim must prove that the defendant acted unreasonably. If there’s a car accident and the defendant was driving under the influence, this would be considered unreasonable behavior.
- Cause of injury. It’s not enough that the victim was injured – the injury must have been caused by the defendant.
- Damages. For example, if there is a car accident and the victim suffered a broken shoulder, they would provide medical bills and perhaps expert testimony to prove these damages.
While it may seem straightforward, finding and presenting the necessary proof to establish negligence can be hard work and may involve legal issues. That’s where experienced personal injury attorneys come in – a Hammock law firm legal team has the knowledge to present your case and to help prove the defendant’s negligence. If the case becomes a personal injury litigation, your attorney will have the necessary experience to defeat the defense team.
Florida law follows the rule of comparative negligence, as seen in Florida Statutes section 768.81. That means that if the victim is partially at fault, then their recovery is not barred but rather it “diminishes proportionately the amount awarded … as damages for an injury.”
How will Florida’s insurance laws affect my case?
As of May 2021, Florida law, as seen in Florida Statutes section 627.736, requires that you have $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) coverage from insurance companies. That is both the minimal and the maximum amount that you can have.
PIP is also known as no-fault insurance. It covers the policyholder’s own medical expenses after a car accident, regardless of which driver was at fault. If the damages exceed $10,000, then the victim may sue the other driver if they were at fault in the accident.
Note that Florida’s PIP requirement is not well regarded. Periodically, attempts are made by the state legislature to repeal this requirement. Consult experienced personal injury lawyers from The Hammocks to get legal advice on the latest insurance laws in Florida.
Does Florida PIP cover passengers?
PIP may or may not cover other passengers in a car when an accident occurs – this depends on several factors. The law is complicated, and it is recommended you consult with an experienced personal injury law firm that can provide you with advice based on the details of your case. Ward Law offers a free case evaluation and initial consultation.
When do I have to file a claim by in The Hammocks?
After you’ve been injured in an accident, you must file a claim within a certain timeframe. This is referred to as the statute of limitations. In Florida, as seen in Florida Statutes section 95.11, the statute of limitations for negligence is four years. If the victim died, then the period for a wrongful death lawsuit is two years.
How much compensation can I recover after someone injures me?
There is no formula for how much compensation you can receive for your injuries. It depends on several factors, including:
- The severity of the injury
- The strength of your case
- Any negligence on your part
- The jury
In general, however, the higher the medical expenses, the larger the amount of compensation.
Do I have to hire a personal injury attorney?
Yes. Personal injury attorneys have the knowledge and experience to represent their clients and their legal rights. At The Ward Law Group, PL, our lawyers are ready to answer any questions you may have and zealously work on your behalf – both in settlement negotiations or in court. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means we only take a fee if we win your case. Take the first step and schedule a free consultation.Contact us through our online form or make a phone call today at 1-855-DOLOR-55.