Important Factors to Look For When Looking For a Personal Injury Attorney
Whether you’ve been injured in a car accident (like 52% of all personal injury cases), at work, or in a public space, you’re going to need professional assistance.
If you’ve been injured, you’re going to need a high quality personal injury attorney. There are plenty of attorneys that will represent you, but what you need is someone who will work extremely hard for you.
It’s up to you to find a personal injury attorney who will do everything in his or her power to ensure that you’re not only being taken care of financially, but that you are comfortable and aware of exactly what’s going on throughout the entire complicated legal process.
Here are some important factors to look for when finding a quality attorney:
- Personalized approach to your case
The most important quality of an attorney is the ability to be personable. Your lawyer should know exactly who you are, what happened, and what you want out of their assistance. Being able to work directly with a legal professional makes a tremendous difference. You want to work with someone who will actually visit you in the hospital and not just ignore you like some of the other “big guy” law firms. Additionally, you want to make sure you’re fully comfortable with your attorney so you can feel free to disclose important personal details that could help you in court.
- Successful track record
If the lawyer you’re thinking about working with has very little experience, confidence, or knowledge, it’s time to start looking elsewhere. Experience is a must in the legal business and if you want to be represented in a positive light, you’ll need someone with plenty of it. Find a lawyer with a few references and call them up to find out how their cases went before you make your decision.
- Is Focused On You
Personality and experience is important, but you also want to make sure your attorney is focused on your case. One problem that is all too common in large law firms is that attorneys balance more than they can handle. When they become overwhelmed, they often try and speed up various cases to lessen their load, but that could result in you not getting the financial restitution you’re entitled to.
Top 5 Things To Know About Personal Injury Law
Personal injury law can be quite trying at times, especially when you are the victim. Whether you slipped and fell down resulting in an injury, a dog bit you, or you got into a car crash that wasn’t your fault, you might be able to file a lawsuit to get back what was taken from you. This, however, is an oversimplification of most personal injury cases. Here’s some more in-depth description of the personal injury law process.
5 Things To Know About Personal Injury Law
- Auto Accidents
As the leading cause of personal injury, vehicular personal injury cases make up 52% of all personal injury cases. That being said, fault generally applies one way or another. In order to sue for damages, you need to have some evidence that you were the victim.
- Auto Accidents
- Insurance Settlements
Unfortunately, insurance companies might offer you a much lower compensation than you feel you are owed. Then they will count on you to not pursue the person who caused the accident with a lawsuit. Sometimes your insurance company pays out the right amount, but that tends to be for fender benders and less severe accidents. Also, if your personal injury case isn’t about an auto accident, you might not have any other way to seek compensation. Calling a personal injury law firm will help get the process started.
- Insurance Settlements
There are many different ways your life can be affected by a personal injury. You could lose wages at work, develop a lasting chronic injury, and will likely have to endure a lot of pain and suffering. All of this because of someone else’s negligence. Wanting to sue is understandable.
- You Need A Lawyer
Call a personal injury law firm to handle your case. They are experienced in cases like yours and give you the best chance of receiving fair compensation for your personal injury.
- You Need A Lawyer
- It Could Take Time
Be aware that lawsuits don’t always move quickly, especially following an accident. If you have a busy schedule, make sure to take the time to talk to your lawyer and provide thorough and accurate information about your case.
Personal injury law is the process by which a person who was wrongfully injured can reclaim their monetary and emotional damages. If you have any questions or would like to file a claim, contact your personal injury law firm today.
Understand The Comparative Fault in Florida Personal Injury Law
There are many unique aspects of Florida personal injury law that sets it apart from other states, including its status as a no-fault state. However, Florida’s pure comparative fault laws often confuse accident victims, a common reason to hire a personal injury law firm in the first place. Tampa auto accident lawyers are often asked about comparative fault, which can complicate a victim’s case.
So what does “pure comparative fault” mean in the context of Florida personal injury laws? And how does this system compare to other states?
What Is Pure Comparative Fault?
In a pure comparative fault system, the amount of damages a plaintiff can recover is offset if he or she is partially at fault for the accident. In short, multiple parties — including the victim — can share legal responsibility, or negligence, and their degree of responsibility will affect how much they can recover in damages.
Every year up to 3 million people are injured in auto accidents, and many of these crashes cause severe financial, personal, and medical hardship for accident victims. Some personal injury cases are straightforward, with clear lines between defendants and victims. A drunk driver who injures a pedestrian may be clearly at fault, and a Tampa auto accident lawyer can help the victim file a civil lawsuit to recover damages. However, in many car accidents a number of parties share fault. In addition, the accident victim may also share a portion of the blame.
For instance, if someone is injured by a defective product, the product’s manufacturer may be responsible. However, if the victim was misusing the product and ignoring safety warnings, he or she may also share a degree of fault.
Florida is a pure comparative fault state. In fact, even if the victim was 99% responsible for the accident, they may still be able to recover damages. Because these issues can be difficult to understand, let alone prove in a court of law, many victims will hire a personal injury law firm to represent them. After being injured in a car accident in Florida with multiple parties at fault, it may be beneficial to hire Tampa auto accident lawyers.
Are There Other Forms of Comparative Fault?
Other states have different systems for assigning negligence to accident victims. While states like Florida, California, and Louisiana offset the plaintiff’s damages according to his or her share of the fault, other states have much harsher systems:
- Pure Contributory Negligence: States like Virginia have Pure Contributory Negligence systems. That means if the plaintiff is at fault, to any degree, they will be unable to recover damages at all.
- Modified Comparative Fault (50% bar): States like Georgia have a Modified Comparative Fault system, wherein the defendant’s liability is reduced by the plaintiff’s percentage of fault. However, if the plaintiff is more than 50% at fault, they cannot recover damages.
If you’ve been in a car accident and are struggling to understand Florida’s pure comparative fault system, then it may be in your best interest to speak to Tampa auto accident lawyers. These issues are complex, yet they can be critical to the success or failure of your civil lawsuit.
For more information on Florida personal injury cases wherein the victim shares a portion of the blame, contact our Tampa personal injury law firm for a consultation.
How To Deal With a Personal Injury After an Alcohol-Related Accident
Dealing with a serious injury can be a terrifying and stressful situation. No matter how that injury occurred, it can be just as overwhelming as it is painful when it comes to court proceedings, loss or damages, physical pain, and other logistical factors. When those personal injuries were caused by alcohol-related auto accidents, that stress can be amplified significantly.
Sadly, every single day, people drive drunk nearly 300,000 times, but fewer than 4,000 are actually caught and arrested. Because driving under the influence happens so often in the U.S., virtually everyone is at risk of being seriously injured on the roadways.
So, what do you do when it happens to you?
Find professional legal instance
Dealing with a personal injury following an alcohol-related car accident is rarely easy. In these instances, good news is scarce, especially if you were the driver who was under the influence. Whether you were at fault or not, however, you need to make sure you’re being represented by a legal professional.
Without representation from a personal injury attorney, you’ll struggle to maneuver the complicated legal proceedings involving DUI-related crashes. If you are the at-fault driver, you’ll certainly want to consult a legal professional to delegate the majority of those complicated responsibilities, but the same goes for drivers who were injured at the hands of an impaired driver.
Who was the impaired driver?
If you were convicted of (or pled guilty to) a charge of driving under the influence, any person who was involved in the crash (passengers and drivers alike) will likely file a lawsuit against you.
If you were following the rules of the road, however, and were struck by an impaired driver, you’ll need legal assistance as you file a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver.
Make the call right away
During these DUI-related situations, no matter who was at fault, everyone involved should seek legal assistance immediately. Not only should you call emergency crews to ensure the safety of everyone on the scene, you should also contact your attorney and let them know every single detail. If you withhold certain information following a crash (whether it’s intentional or not), you’ll jeopardize your chance of success in court.
After any crash, don’t wait — get legal help right away. Contact Herron Law if you need professional legal assistance.
What damages are recoverable in a personal injury case in Florida?
There are several types of damages that are recoverable in a personal injury case in the state of Florida.
These damages are normally separated into two categories: compensatory and punitive.
Compensatory damages are a financial compensation for the injured party. Meaning that injuries can be assessed a monetary value and be paid to the person injured. These types of damages are also split into two categories: economic and non-economic.
Economic Compensatory damages include:
- Past Lost Income – Any income lost due to injury. In a car accident either your own insurance, or the at fault party’s bodily injury insurer can pay for these damages.
- Future Lost Income – Any income that will be lost due to injury. The at fault party is responsible for these damages. Uninsured motorist coverage can cover these as well.
- Medical Expenses – Expenses incurred from hospital and doctor visits.
- Your insurance will cover up to 80% of your medical expenses if you are deemed to have an emergency medical condition after a car accident. You can make a claim against the at fault driver for the remaining amount.
- In a slip in fall case, the business may have “medical payments” coverage that will pay for any injuries incurred. If they do not have this coverage, you will have to prove that the business caused your accident resulting in injury to receive damages.
- Personal Property Loss – If any items are lost or damaged after an accident. Damages can be paid by the at fault party’s property damage coverage or by your own collision coverage.
- Funeral Expenses – Cost to hold a funeral for the deceased party after an accident. Can be covered by the decedent’s personal injury protection, uninsured motorist, the other driver, owner, or employer.
- Mileage– Distance traveled to medical appointments and the pharmacy. $.50 cents for every mile.
Non-Economic Compensatory damages include:
- Pain and Suffering – Embarrassment, humiliation, disfigurement, loss of ability to enjoy life, and loss of domestic or household services- After a car accident, this generally requires a permanent injury to claim damages. In slip and fall type accidents, permanent injury is not required.
Punitive damages are used to punish the liable party. Although these damages are not often paid to the injured party, they are used in cases where the at fault party displays a willful disregard for the safety, health, and rights of those around them. Florida requires a higher standard than ordinary negligence to recover punitive damages.
In all cases, negligence and causation must be proven to recover damages.