Sudden injuries can affect all aspects of a person’s life and prevent them from navigating their daily routine. A severe injury might leave you with physical pain and limitations, emotional distress, and financial struggles. Often, people face costly medical bills and lost income following a devastating injury.
If another person caused an accident that injured you, you should seek help getting compensation. Thankfully, our attorneys can work to hold a negligent defendant accountable for their conduct, and negotiate with stubborn insurance providers.
For a free case review, call The Law Offices of David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer, P.A. today. Call our personal injury lawyers at (954) 866-1750.
How to File a Personal Injury Claim in Plantation, FL
Whenever a person or business acts in a way that causes harm, anyone who is injured might have legal cause to file a civil lawsuit. Civil actions differ from criminal proceedings, but they still involve a specific set of rules and procedures.
Elements of a Civil Injury Case
To prove that someone else injured you, you need to meet four elements for your claim:
- The defendant owed you a legal duty.
- The defendant breached that duty by failing to use the proper level of care or skill.
- The breach of duty caused your accident and injuries.
- The accident resulted in damages that the court can order the defendant to compensate you for.
These elements make up a civil case for “negligence,” which is the basis of most injury cases. While you can also potentially sue for intentional injuries, most claims such as slip and falls, car accidents, and even medical malpractice are based on negligence.
“More Likely Than Not” Standard
To succeed in a personal injury lawsuit, an injured claimant does not need to prove a defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt as one would in a criminal case. Instead, Florida courts require plaintiffs to prove their case “by a preponderance of the evidence.” This is essentially a “more likely than not” standard – it must be shown to be more likely than not that your claim is true and the other party was responsible for your injuries.
Process of Filing an Injury Lawsuit in Florida
In Plantation and throughout Florida, injury cases are usually filed through insurance or through the courts.
In an insurance claim, you file with the at-fault party’s insurance (or with your own insurance in the case of no-fault car accident insurance). The insurance company will then decide how much your claim is worth, and it is up to your attorney to negotiate for a more appropriate settlement if their initial valuation is too low.
In court, the jury determines fault and calculates damages. Your case begins with the initial filing, then after rounds of briefing and evidence exchange, the case could potentially move to trial. However, most cases do settle before they ever go before a judge and jury.
Our personal injury lawyers can help you through both processes, depending on which system is more appropriate in your case. In many cases, both insurance claims and lawsuits are in fact filed.
Recoverable Damages in Personal Injury Cases in Plantation, FL
If a claimant prevails in a civil case, a defendant will not face jail time. Instead, a court may order this negligent party to pay monetary damages as compensation for their wrongful actions. Our knowledgeable personal injury attorneys can explain the nuances of personal injury claims and what types of compensation could be recovered from them.
Often, an injured claimant can pursue recovery of their economic losses, including medical bills, rehabilitation expenses, lost wages, and future lost income. An aggressive and responsive legal team member could also help an injured person seek compensation for their non-economic losses, such as their pain and suffering, reduced enjoyment of daily life, or mental anguish. Although these losses are harder to quantify, an experienced lawyer could carefully evaluate a claimant’s losses and pursue maximum recovery.
When proving the extent of a plaintiff’s damages, a claim should not only prove a victim’s economic losses but also show how an injury might impact their future. Because catastrophic injuries usually limit someone’s earning or wage potential, you should work with our personal injury attorneys to claim all relevant damages in your case.
An expert witness’s report may include a value for lost earning capacity and even a calculation to determine the plaintiff’s loss of enjoyment of life. These reports are often helpful for our attorneys to use and can strengthen your claim, especially for complex or difficult-to-prove damages like pain and suffering.
Types of Personal Injury Claims Our Plantation Personal Injury Attorneys Handle
The title “personal injury” covers a wide array of legal cases. Anything from work injuries to car accidents to pharmaceutical injuries to slip and falls all fall under this category, and our personal injury lawyers are prepared to help with all sorts of cases.
Many personal injury cases involve serious or long-term injuries. These most commonly occur in serious car accidents, workplace injuries, falls from heights, and building collapse cases. In any of these cases, our personal injury attorneys can help you seek compensation for your medical expenses as well as the effects you will face going forward. This often includes claiming substantial damages for lost earnings and pain and suffering. Our attorneys can help with brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, amputation injuries, and other life-altering injuries.
Other injuries involve somewhat common injuries that might range from mild to severe. For example, many accidents can cause bruising, whiplash, broken bones, and strains and sprains. These injuries might not seem particularly severe compared to long-term disabilities, but many could still leave you out of work or with expensive medical bills. Talk to our attorneys today if you suffered any of these injuries in a slip and fall, a low-speed car accident, or some other accident.
Our personal injury lawyers primarily handle auto accidents, accidents on someone else’s property, and wrongful death cases, but we also handle a range of other personal injury claims as well. No case is too big or too small to call our personal injury lawyers for a free review of your case.
Evidence to Collect for a Personal Injury Claim in Plantation, FL
When you have been injured and you are considering filing a personal injury claim, there is some evidence you should collect and bring to your attorney. Our personal injury lawyers can help collect additional evidence beyond this, but sometimes it is important to collect this information right away – if you are able to – rather than waiting until after you call a lawyer.
First, always get medical treatment for your injuries and save all medical records and bills. Records of your medical care will show that the injuries do in fact exist, and they will show how serious the injuries are. Any medical bills you face will also be important evidence when proving how much your injuries have cost you.
Second, secure any information, photos, and videos you can of the accident scene. This is especially important in car accident cases where photos and video of the accident can go a long way toward proving your case before a jury. In both car accident cases and other accident cases, evidence of what the weather and lighting were like often plays a part in the case as well.
Third, get contact information for any witnesses to the accident. Your own testimony will be a big part of the evidence we present in your case, but any other witness statements will also be helpful. If you can get the name and contact info of anyone who saw the accident, our personal injury attorneys can follow up with them.
If you are unable to collect evidence like this because your injuries are too severe, you should focus on your recovery first and foremost. Part of the service our personal injury attorneys provide is handling your case for you so that you can focus on healing.
When to Call a Personal Injury Lawyer After an Accident in Plantation, FL
You should always contact a lawyer about your injury case as soon as you can. Many people face severe injuries after an accident and might not be in a state where they are able to call a lawyer until days or weeks after the accident. If you wish, you can have a friend or family member call on your behalf. The earlier you are able to contact us, the earlier we can begin collecting evidence and building your case.
In Florida (and in every state), there is an ultimate filing deadline for each case called the “statute of limitations.” For Florida injury cases, the statute of limitations is four years. This means that, at the latest, you have four years from the day of the accident to get your case filed in court.
Many insurance companies have shorter deadlines, and some situations might use shorter deadlines for filing or notice to the defendant. In any case, you should contact a personal injury attorney well in advance of the four-year deadline to avoid any of these complications. It will take us time to build your case, interview witnesses, collect evidence, and prepare the documents for filing, so call us well before the deadline is necessary.
Our Plantation, FL Personal Injury Attorneys Can Help
A serious injury can leave you in a vulnerable position. You are likely overwhelmed by the ramifications of your injuries and might be unsure where to turn. Fortunately, our Plantation personal injury lawyers will provide valuable advice and guidance on the civil litigation process.
If your injury occurred in a preventable accident caused by another person, our committed and well-practiced legal team could help you seek damages. Get in touch with The Law Offices of David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer by dialing (954) 866-1750.