With year-round pleasant weather and a welcoming beach vibe, Bonita Springs is popular with tourists and those lucky enough to live in this city. With all of the wonderful things Bonita Springs has to offer, sometimes you are just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Unfortunately, many hazards in our beautiful city can lead to severe injuries. If you need a Bonita Springs personal injury lawyer to protect your legal rights after an accident, you are in the right place.
Heavy traffic on roads leading to and from the beaches and on I-75 can cause crashes involving aggressive, impaired, or distracted drivers. Buildings around town commonly contain hazards that can lead to slips and falls, fires, and other premises liability situations.
An experienced Bonita Springs personal injury attorney at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, can explain your legal options in detail and describe the services we offer to help you navigate the claims process. Contact us for a free consultation and case evaluation.
What Types of Accidents Can a Bonita Springs Personal Injury Lawyer Handle?
In Florida, when someone is injured in an accident or incident caused by someone else, they can use the personal injury claims process to file a claim against the liability insurance policy held by the at-fault party.
This could be an auto liability policy if the claim involved a serious injury incurred in a motor vehicle accident, a business or homeowner’s policy for injuries incurred as a result of a premises liability matter, or a business liability policy if a defective product caused the injury. If the insurance provider fails to pay the claim, a personal injury lawsuit can be filed, and a judge or jury can be asked to decide whether the at-fault party is liable and how much compensation is owed to the claimant.
The personal injury claims process is the appropriate avenue for seeking compensation after being injured in a number of different types of accidents caused by negligent behavior in Bonita Springs. Here is a look at the accidents that can lead to a personal injury claim.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
The Bonita Springs area sees more than 12,000 traffic accidents a year, resulting in around 100 deaths and more than 3,500 injuries. These accidents can involve any roadway user, including motorists in passenger vehicles, cars, commercial trucks, or city buses, as well as motorcyclists, pedestrians, and bicyclists throughout Bonita Springs. One of the city’s most dangerous intersections is the Old 41 Road and Terry Street roundabout, and traffic accidents are also prevalent on I-75.
The vast majority of motor vehicle accidents are the result of human error. Drivers who cause these accidents are often driving while impaired by alcohol, tired, or distracted, and speeding remains one of the most common causes of collisions in Bonita Springs and throughout Florida.
Many healthcare facilities and providers in and near Bonita Springs provide residents access to top-rated physicians and specialists. Most of these facilities and medical professionals diligently work to provide quality medical services for patients. However, medical errors resulting in injuries to patients are not uncommon, whether in NCH Healthcare Bonita, Lee Health Coconut Point, or other facilities.
Healthcare providers who make a mistake that results in an injury to a patient can be liable for the expenses and psychological impacts incurred by the patient due to the error. This type of personal injury case is known as a medical malpractice claim.
The types of medical errors that commonly result in medical malpractice include:
- Diagnostic errors are a failure of a health care provider to provide an accurate and timely explanation of a patient’s health problems or communicate the resolution to the patient. Common diagnostic errors include misdiagnosis, when the health care provider gives the patient the wrong diagnosis; missed diagnosis, when the doctor fails to diagnose a medical condition; or delayed diagnosis, an unacceptable delay in the diagnosis and treatment of the medical condition.
- Prescription errors include administering the wrong dosage or medication for the patient in a healthcare facility or prescribing them the wrong medication or dosage.
- Birth injuries can occur due to the doctor’s failure to provide adequate medical care during the birth process. Some errors resulting in a birth injury include the failure to diagnose a medical condition that requires medication or a cesarean section, failure to provide a cesarean section when laboratory or imaging tests indicate the surgery is medically necessary, or failure to monitor the infant’s vital signs during and shortly after the birth.
- Surgical errors can involve improper administration of anesthesia; injury to organs and tissues surrounding that which is being surgically repaired; failure to monitor the patient’s vitals during a surgical procedure; or even wrong-site or wrong-patient surgery, or medical staff leaving a surgical tool, sponge, or towel inside the body cavity after completing the procedure.
- Failure to take an accurate patient history would have given the provider information that could assist them in determining the patient’s proper diagnosis and informing them of medications that the patient is taking that could interact poorly with the treatment provided.
- Discharge errors include prematurely discharging a patient after a procedure without ensuring that the patient can recover at home or failing to provide the patient with adequate home care instructions.
- Failing to inform the patient of all known risks of a recommended procedure, if those risks were severe enough, the patient would have likely requested a different treatment option if they had known.
Those who control properties where others are invited for business or personal purposes are responsible for protecting their guests from hazardous features that could cause injuries.
This responsibility generally involves regularly inspecting the property to search for hazards and either promptly repairing those hazards or posting a prominent warning sign in the area of the hazard so guests know to watch out for it.
Some of the types of premises liability matters that can result in an injury and a legal claim include:
- Slip and fall accidents occur when a guest slips on something or trips over an obstacle and falls. This is the most common type of premises liability claim. Common factors that lead to slip-and-fall accidents include liquid or debris on the floor; broken handrails; worn or torn flooring material; and damaged sidewalks or parking lots.
- Swimming pool accidents. There are a number of swimming pools available for public use, as well as many hotels, apartments, and backyard pools throughout Bonita Springs. Accidents can occur due to lack of supervision of small children around the pool; failure to provide an enclosure that would prevent children from wandering into the pool while unattended; failure to adequately maintain the pool’s electrical and filtration system; as well as slip-and-fall accidents caused by wet surfaces around the pool.
- Elevator and escalator accidents often involve a lack of maintenance and malfunctioning parts on the apparatus.
- Amusement park accidents can include slip-and-falls on the park grounds, injuries resulting from known criminal activity in the area, or improper operation and maintenance of the rides.
- Negligent security is the failure of the property owner or manager to protect guests from criminal activity in the area. Property owners can provide locks on windows and doors of rented homes or hotel rooms, security personnel in businesses or security patrols in commercial or apartment parking lots, or video surveillance of a property to protect their guests.
- Dog bites are generally filed against a homeowner’s or renter’s liability insurance policy.
The residents and visitors of Bonita Springs rely on hundreds of different types of products, including prepared or manufactured food products, medications, auto parts, appliances, clothing, children’s toys, and much more. The manufacturers of these products must ensure that they are reasonably safe when used according to labeled instructions.
Three product defects can result in a personal injury claim, including:
- Defects that occur because of how the manufacturer engineered the product.
- Defects that arise during the process of manufacturing the process.
- Defects that involve labeled instructions on how to use the product or its risks.
Nursing Home Abuse
Bonita Springs is a popular area in which to retire, and over 40 percent of the population is over 65. Twenty nursing homes provide service to Bonita Springs residents, including a handful in the city and several more in the surrounding region.
Incidents and accidents that occur in a nursing home that can lead to a personal injury claim include:
- Neglect is the failure to provide the resident with necessities, such as adequate nutrition; assistance with toileting and personal hygiene; supervision to avoid residents falling or wandering away from the facility; or failure to provide medications or proper health care to residents.
- Physical abuse can include slapping, punching, pushing, or otherwise inflicting physical harm on the resident or physically or chemically restraining the resident for any reason except emergency restraints to protect the resident or others from harm.
- Sexual abuse includes unwanted sexual contact, forcing the resident to view pornography, inappropriately touching the resident, and sexual penetration.
Workers’ compensation is a type of no-fault insurance policy that most employers in Florida are required to provide for their employees. This policy covers expenses related to wage loss and medical treatment for workplace injuries and illnesses. Because this coverage is provided, workers are generally barred from seeking compensation for their injuries through a personal injury lawsuit against an employer or coworker.
However, in certain circumstances, the personal injury claims process is the proper avenue to seek compensation for a workplace injury. These circumstances involve third-party liability, such as an injury to a delivery driver caused by another motorist or an injury to a subcontracted construction employee resulting from a negligent general contractor.
An experienced attorney who handles both personal injury and workers’ compensation claims can help you determine whether a workers’ comp claim or a personal injury claim is the appropriate avenue for you to seek compensation for your injury.
Some accidents and incidents that occur in Bonita Springs result in fatal injuries. When a person dies as a result of another’s negligence, they often leave behind family members who counted on them for service and support and are now reeling from the psychological impacts of the loss. Florida’s wrongful death law permits an administrator or executor of the decedent’s estate to file a wrongful death claim to seek compensation for family members and the estate.
This includes financial losses, such as final medical costs; expenses related to the funeral and burial or cremation; the loss of services and support that the decedent provided to their dependent family members; and the value of earnings and benefits the decedent would have been reasonably expected to earn throughout their working years if they had survived the accident.
Claimants can also seek compensation for the quality-of-life impacts family members incurred due to the loss, including the loss of companionship and protection, parental guidance, and instruction.
Frequently Asked Questions Our Bonita Springs Personal Injury Attorneys Answer Here
Florida’s personal injury claims process is extremely important, as it allows those injured by someone else’s negligence to seek compensation for the financial and psychological impacts of their injury. Unfortunately, this process is generally overwhelming to claimants who attempt to navigate it without the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney. Here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions about filing a personal injury claim in Bonita Springs.
How long do I have to file a claim?
The statute of limitations is a legal deadline for certain types of claims. All states determine their statute of limitations, which varies depending on the type of claim. For most types of Florida personal injury claims, plaintiffs must file lawsuits in court within four years of the injury.
However, there are some exceptions, including:
- You must file medical malpractice claims within two years of discovering the injury or no later than four years after the injury occurred.
- You must file wrongful death claims within two years of the date of death.
- For individuals incapacitated by the injury and unable to file a claim, the statute of limitations can be paused until they regain their mental capacity. However, the claim must be filed within seven years after the date of injury in these cases.
- Child injury claims. A parent filing the claim on behalf of the child has up to four years to do so. However, if the child opts to seek compensation on their own once they reach the age of majority (18), they have four years from their 18th birthday to file their claim.
The statute of limitations is significant, because allowing this time to expire will generally result in losing the right to seek compensation for injuries through the court process. While most claims are resolved through a settlement before the trial begins, insurance providers will usually not entertain settlement negotiations on expired claims because they no longer have the legal consequence of litigation.
How do Florida’s no-fault insurance rules impact the ability to file a car accident claim?
In Florida, drivers must purchase a no-fault personal injury protection (PIP) insurance policy of at least $10,000 to register their vehicle.
This policy provides coverage of:
- Up to 80 percent of expenses related to the medical treatment of the injury, up to the policy’s limits.
- Sixty percent of the wages the claimant lost due to being too injured to work, up to the policy’s limits.
- A death benefit of $5,000.
These no-fault policies provide coverage regardless of who was responsible for the accident. When expenses related to the injury exceed the policy limits, or the claimant’s injury meets the state’s serious injury threshold, the claimant is then permitted to seek compensation through a personal injury claim.
Florida’s serious injury threshold includes injuries that:
- Result in a significant and permanent loss of bodily function
- Are permanent, within a reasonable degree of medical probability
- Result in substantial and permanent scarring or disfigurement
- Result in death
What compensation can my Bonita Springs personal injury lawyer request in my injury claim?
Individuals who are injured in Bonita Springs by someone else’s negligence can seek compensation for the expenses they incurred as a result of the accident. These are known as economic damages and include the cost of medically treating the injury, the loss of wages during the period when you were too injured to work, and even the loss of future earnings that you can no longer receive due to permanent injuries.
You can also seek compensation for the cost of repairing or replacing personal property that was damaged in the accident. These costs include the vehicle you were driving when a car accident occurred or personal items damaged due to a fire in a rented home resulting from the property owner’s negligence, for example.
You can also seek compensation for the impacts of the accident on your quality of life. These are known as non-economic damages and include consequences such as physical pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of the enjoyment of life.
If I file a claim, will I have to go to court?
Around 95 percent of all personal injury lawsuits are resolved before the case is heard in court, most often through negotiated settlements. What this means is that, in all likelihood, your claim will be determined by settlement, as well, and you will not have to testify in court.
However, the court process is an important option to have if the at-fault party's insurance provider fails to pay the claim outright or fails to offer a settlement agreement that provides fair compensation for the expenses and impacts of the injury. You deserve the assistance and guidance of a personal injury lawyer who has courtroom experience and is comfortable with seeking compensation through the court process in order to increase your chance of obtaining the compensation you need.
I was injured in an accident caused by an Uber driver. Who is liable?
It depends on whether the driver was transporting a passenger, en route to pick up a passenger, available to pick up a passenger, or using their vehicle for personal means.
Here is how Uber’s liability insurance coverage works:
- When the driver's app is off and they’re using their vehicle for personal reasons, an injury claim would be filed against their personal auto insurance policy.
- When the driver's app is on but they’re waiting for a ride request, Uber maintains a third-party liability policy that offers bodily injury coverage of $50,000 per person, $100,000 per accident, and $25,000 in property damage liability per accident.
- When the driver is en route to pick up a passenger or is transporting the passenger, Uber’s full $1,000,000 liability policy is in effect.
How does my Bonita Springs injury lawyer prove liability in a personal injury insurance claim?
While you can file personal injury claims against a party who committed an intentional act, such as domestic abuse or assault, most claims result from negligence.
Your personal injury attorney must show these elements of negligence to prove liability:
- The at-fault party had a duty to take reasonable actions in a given circumstance to avoid causing physical injury or property damage.
- The duty owed by the at-fault party was breached when they took harmful actions or failed to take actions that did not avoid harm.
- Because of this breach lead to an accident in which the claimant was injured.
Your attorney and their legal team will help you gather the evidence needed to prove your claim and justify its value, including accident reports, medical records, witness testimony, photographs from the accident scene, or video surveillance showing how the accident occurred.
How much is the average settlement for a personal injury claim in Bonita Springs?
Every personal injury claim has unique characteristics, and every settlement reflects the unique willingness of the parties involved to compromise to resolve the claim outside of court. Because all these traits are specific to the claim they involve, there really is no average settlement.
Several factors can influence the value of a claim, such as:
- How much insurance coverage the at-fault party has. Insurance is how nearly all personal injury claims are compensated. While it is possible to seek compensation from an uninsured party and even obtain a court decision in your favor, collecting an uninsured claim can be extremely difficult.
- The severity of the injury you suffered. More severe injuries often result in more painful treatments, longer hospitalizations, and bigger impacts on the claimant’s quality of life. Individuals who can no longer work due to suffering permanent injuries can seek compensation for lost earning capacity.
- How much income the claimant was earning before the accident occurred. Many of the types of compensation you can seek result from income loss. It stands to reason that the more the person was earning when they became injured, the more they stand to lose if those injuries permanently impact their ability to work.
- The level of recklessness or intention the at-fault party displayed that led to the accident. In some Florida personal injury claims, the claimant can seek punitive damages. This involves compensation that is not meant as repayment for the expenses and impacts of the injury but to serve as a financial consequence for intentional misconduct or gross negligence.
What services can a personal injury attorney in Bonita Springs provide to assist me with my claim?
An experienced personal injury attorney is intimately familiar with the legal process and a deep understanding of the type of compensation needed after an individual incurs a serious injury due to someone else’s negligence.
Personal injury attorneys provide services such as:
- A free case evaluation allowing you to learn more about the process, obtain answers to your legal questions about your case, and receive information from the attorney about their legal team’s role in your claim.
- A thorough investigation of the accident to determine all sources of liability, as well as the relevant liability insurance policies held by those parties that can be accessed to provide compensation.
- An calculation of your claim’s value based on the expenses and impacts you have incurred as a result of the injury
- Communication with the at-fault party’s insurance provider to negotiate a settlement and protect your claim’s value from being degraded by common insurance company tactics used to decrease the value of claims.
- Management of the timing of your case to ensure that your right to use the court process remains available by filing a lawsuit within Florida’s personal injury statute of limitations.
- Preparing your case for trial, including gathering evidence and witness testimony that can be used in court, attending pre-trial hearings, and responding to motions filed with the court.
- Litigating your case, including the delivery of opening and closing arguments, presentation of evidence, and examination of witnesses.
- Helping you to receive your compensation at the resolution of your claim.
Can I afford an injury attorney in Bonita Springs?
Fear of the cost of an attorney is one of the main reasons why people do not hire one, even when they need to. Personal injury lawyers play a crucial role in the personal injury claims process, providing those without education and experience in the law the ability to seek the compensation they need without becoming frustrated by the process or being taken advantage of by the often high-powered legal counsel retained by insurance companies.
Because their role is so crucial to the ability of the claimant to receive compensation, they may use a contingent fee billing method that allows anyone who needs their assistance to have access, regardless of their financial status.
As the name suggests, a personal injury attorney's paycheck is contingent upon their ability to garner fair compensation on behalf of their client. When an individual decides to hire an attorney to assist them with their claim, they must enter into a contingent fee agreement. This agreement designates a percentage of the claimant's compensation as payment for the attorney's services. If the claimant does not receive compensation for their claim, they do not have to pay the legal team for the work they did on the case.
If the claimant receives compensation, the attorney will accept it and deduct the agreed-upon payment before turning over the remainder to the claimant.
Contact a Dedicated Bonita Springs Personal Injury Lawyer at Dolman Law Group Today
If you've been injured in an accident that was caused by someone else's negligence, trust an experienced Bonita Springs personal injury lawyer from Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, to guide you through Florida's personal injury claims process. Our mission is to help injured accident victims obtain the compensation they deserve.
We understand the difficulties you're facing and the aggressive tactics you may endure from insurance adjusters. Let us deal with the insurance companies and build a solid case to help you recover the maximum amount of compensation possible. For your free case evaluation, contact us online or by calling (239) 307-2634.
Bonita Springs Office
9220 Bonita Beach Rd SE suite 200-12
Bonita Springs, FL 34135