Florida Personal Injury Attorneys

Personal Injury Lawyers in Florida

The underlying purpose of a Florida personal injury lawyer is to compensate individuals who sustained injuries as a result of someone else’s negligence. Personal injuries can vary widely, and often include traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, fractures, soft tissue injuries, or even simple bumps and bruises. These injuries often require the assistance of a personal injury attorney.

The best Florida personal injury lawyer for you can help you level the playing field with insurance companies while advising you of your rights. With someone in your corner who has your best interests in mind, you can rest easier and focus your energies on your recovery.

Why Choose Our Florida Injury Law Firm?

When choosing the best Florida personal injury attorney for you, it is important to consider many factors. The best personal injury attorney near you may not be the same one your friends and family recommend. While recommendations are important, it is even more important to evaluate your attorney closely. Ask the following questions:

  • How many cases like yours have they litigated?
  • Are they familiar with your type of injury and accident?
  • Are they seasoned and experienced litigators, as well as negotiators?
  • What type of fees do they charge?
  • Do they have time for you and your case?

At Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, we know you have questions. That is why we offer all injured accident victims a free initial consultation. We want to learn more about you and your accident, and we want to give you a chance to explore your legal options. Come meet with us at any of our locations across the state of Florida, or ask us how we can set up a virtual appointment during this time. We can discuss your case and help answer your questions accurately and honestly.

Our Florida personal injury attorneys have years of experience representing injured accident victims from Pensacola to Miami. We offer all our services on a contingency basis. This means that you don’t pay us anything unless we win your case. It is that simple. You deserve justice and our law firm can help you get that justice. Please call us at (727) 451-6900 or contact us online today to start exploring all of your legal options.

Types of Accidents and Incidents that Cause a Personal Injury Claim

An individual can sustain personal injuries in a variety of accidents and situations. In fact, the possibilities are really limitless, but some of the most common accidents and incidents that cause personal injury claims are:

What Should I Do After Suffering a Personal Injury in Florida?

Many people are concerned about how their actions in the aftermath of a personal injury will affect their ability to seek compensation for damages they have suffered. This concern is legitimate since certain things can be done that can end up harming a personal injury case down the line. Regardless of the type of personal injury that you suffered or the type of accident that caused your injury, you should always prioritize your health in the aftermath. While keeping potential litigation in mind after an accident can be helpful in certain circumstances, your health is always much more important and you should not do anything that could interfere with getting the medical help you need for an injury. Go to the emergency room, an urgent care clinic, or call an ambulance if necessary since delaying medical care is not only bad for your health but it can also reflect badly in any attempt to seek compensation in the future since delaying medical care can call injury credibility into question.

With that said, those that have suffered a personal injury should keep in mind that anything that they say can potentially be used against them in the future when seeking compensation. In the aftermath of an accident that causes you a personal injury whether it is a car accident or a slip and fall, do not apologize and do not say anything more than is necessary. Apologies can be construed as an admission of fault and many people will say things like this and not realize that it can harm their case. You should also avoid speaking about your accident and injuries in general for the same reason. This includes social media since insurance companies are aware of how these platforms can offer them information they can use against you.

If possible, gathering evidence at the scene of an accident can help your case but only do so as long as it is not at the expense of your health or safety. If you are with someone that is not injured, relegating the task to them is often your best option. Taking pictures of where you were injured, the injury, and the surroundings can preserve useful details that can help your Florida personal injury lawyer. Getting the contact information of any witnesses can also help. Perhaps one of the most important steps to take after suffering a personal injury is to speak to an attorney.

Proving a Florida Personal Injury Case in 3 Parts

In any case, as the injured accident victim, you must prove that the at-fault party or parties acted unreasonably in causing the injuries and damages. This issue of fault hinges on the concept of negligence, which is made up of 3 parts:

  1. Duty of care
  2. Breach of duty
  3. Causation

Duty of Care

Duty of care is defined as another person’s obligation to not injure another person or place them in harm’s way. Almost everyone has a duty to another person to not hurt them, but in a personal injury case, the question is often “how much?”

For example, a grocery store owner or manager has a duty of care to keep their customers safe from harm by cleaning up spills, fixing broken steps, etc. In order to ensure this, the store must take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of its customers. This can become a little complicated as the term “reasonable” is open to interpretation.

Breach of Duty

Once it is established that someone had a duty of care toward another, the next part of negligence deals with whether or not the person breached that duty, or failed to live up to it. If they breach that duty of care–say, failing to get a loose handrail fixed for months–then the courts call that: negligent.

Basically, did the defendant create a dangerous situation or allow a dangerous situation to persist? This can be easy to prove in cases where someone was driving over the posted speed limit. But it can also become complicated since what is deemed reasonable, can vary from situation to situation and from minute to minute.


Once your Florida personal injury attorney has proved that someone had a duty of care and that they breached that duty, they must then prove that the breach led to the accident or injuries. Did the store have a duty to clean up the spill? Yes. Did they fail to clean up the spill? Yes. Did your slip and fall in the puddle cause you to hurt your back? Yes.

This is a simple case of proving causation. But again, it can become complicated quickly.

Someone can admit that they were negligent, but that doesn’t necessarily prove that that negligence caused your injuries. Take the example above: the store owner may claim that your fall was not caused by the puddle but because you were looking at your phone. Or they may claim that you fell because of the puddle, but that your back injury was pre-existing.

Understanding these situations, in the simple way that they are presented above, makes it clear that having an experienced Florida injury trial lawyer on your side can make the process a lot easier on you and with a much higher chance of a positive outcome.

The Timeline of the Florida Personal Injury Claim Process

The Florida personal injury process primarily involves the following:

  • Filing a claim with all the parties involved and putting them on notice that you will be seeking compensation.
  • Attempting to negotiate a favorable settlement offer with the negligent parties through back-and-forth talks.
  • Filing a lawsuit with the court if negotiations are unsuccessful.
  • Litigating the case in court to prove that you deserve to have your damages covered by the defendant.
  • Trying the case or pursuing alternative dispute resolution (for example, in cases where the insurance company refuses to place an acceptable settlement offer on the table)

Damages in a Florida Personal Injury Case

Recovering damages in a personal injury case is not about making anybody rich because they were in an accident; it’s about preventing someone from becoming poor because they were in an accident.

Seeking damages, with or without a civil trial attorney, is intended to compensate the injured victim for anything they lost because of the accident or injury. Another way to view a personal injury claim is an attempt to make someone”whole” again–as much as possible–through the use of the civil court system.

Some damages are easy to put a value on, like the cost of a car or the cost of surgery. They can be proven with receipts and medical bills. But other damages, known as general damages, are harder to place a monetary value on because they are abstract concepts, like pain and suffering. For example, how much is being able to hold your grandchild worth to you? What would someone have to pay you to never be able to have sex again?

Here are some common damages found in different types of personal injury cases:

  • Medical costs. This includes the cost of things like medical care, surgery costs, medications, physical therapy, etc.
  • Future medical treatment. This is an estimate of the cost of medical care you will need in the future because of your accident, like future doctor visits or surgeries.
  • Lost income. This category deals with the income you will lose taking time off work after the accident to recover, having to leave work to go to a doctor’s appointment, and the money you will lose in the future because you can no longer perform your job at a level that will earn promotions or advancements in your field. This could also include lost income because of a career change.
  • Damage to Property. This covers the obvious damage that occurs to the “things” involved in your accident, like your vehicle, cost of repairs, etc.
  • Pain and suffering. After an accident, you and your personal injury attorney may decide to seek compensation for all the pain and discomfort you suffered during and after the accident.
  • Emotional distress. Some serious accidents cause psychological issues, like fear, anxiety, and PTSD. In some cases, this is considered part of pain and suffering.
  • Loss of relationships. If your personal injury situation caused one of your relationships to suffer, like with your parent, child, or spouse, you recover damages for this. When this type of damage deals directly with a spouse, it is known as loss of consortium.
  • Loss of enjoyment. If your injury took away your ability to do something in life that brought your joy, like painting or building furniture, or going on walks, your trial attorney may be able to get you compensation for these damages.

Hiring Experienced Personal Injury Trial Lawyers in Florida

If you or someone you love has sustained personal injuries in Florida that resulted from someone else’s negligence, the law may entitle you to recover monetary compensation. Personal injury cases can be long and complex, however, and you need a skilled, experienced litigation attorney by your side every step of the way because there’s a lot your personal injury attorney will need to do. The Florida personal injury attorneys at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA can help to streamline the personal injury process for you and may bring your case to a favorable resolution via settlement, alternative dispute resolution, or, if necessary, trial.

Filing a Claim for Personal Injuries in Florida

Before a lawsuit is ever filed in a Florida personal injury case, the injured accident victim will usually need to file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company. For example, if you are involved in a car accident that was not your fault, you will most likely negotiate with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.

Filing a claim for personal injuries places the at-fault driver’s insurance company on notice of a potential lawsuit. Once a claim is filed and the injured plaintiff finishes all medical treatment and physical therapy, the plaintiff’s attorney will then make a request for all medical records and bills from the plaintiff’s various treatment providers.

In car accident cases, if the at-fault driver was uninsured or underinsured at the time of the accident, the personal injury plaintiff may file an uninsured—or underinsured—motorist claim against her own insurance company.

Demand Packages

After you have finished treatment for all of the injuries you sustained in your accident, and once all treatment medical records and bills have been received, a Florida personal injury attorney can assemble a settlement demand package and send it to the claims adjuster who handles the case for the insurance company. In addition to the demand package, the attorney will send a letter of introduction that states an initial monetary demand for settlement. In serious personal injury cases, the attorney may make a demand for the insurance policy’s limits. In any case, the personal injury attorney will most likely ask for more money than what the client actually deserves. An initial settlement demand package will also include copies of all pertinent medical bills, medical records, and lost wage documentation.

Negotiating a Florida Personal Injury Settlement

Assuming the at-fault insurance company concedes liability in a personal injury case, soon after the adjuster reviews the injured plaintiff’s settlement demand package, victims can expect an initial settlement offer. The purpose of an initial settlement offer is to get the ball rolling, so to speak. You should never accept an insurance adjuster’s initial settlement offer (unless the case offer is for policy limits), since these offers are routinely low.

After the adjuster makes an initial settlement offer, the plaintiff’s attorney will make a counter-demand that will be lower than the initial demand. These negotiations between the plaintiff’s attorney and the insurance adjuster typically go back and forth until such time as the parties reach an agreement to settle—or the parties reach an impasse. Settlement negotiations can last for a few weeks or for many months. The length of time usually depends on the nature of the injuries sustained and the complexity of the personal injury case.

Filing a Lawsuit and Litigating a Personal Injury Case

File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in FloridaIf the insurance company and the injured plaintiff cannot agree to settle a personal injury claim, then the injured plaintiff can file and litigate a lawsuit in the Florida court system. Just because a plaintiff’s attorney files a lawsuit in the court system does not necessarily mean that the case will ultimately go to court. On average, about 90 to 95 percent of Florida personal injury cases are never tried and are typically resolved out of court via settlement.

Personal Injury Jury Trials in Florida

If the parties decide to proceed to a jury trial, keep in mind that Florida jury trials can be long and tedious. The decision about whether to settle a case or take it to trial is intensely personal. A Florida personal injury attorney will help you weigh the pros and cons of going to trial and can assist you with making your decision.

The primary components of a Florida civil jury trial include the following: pretrial motions and depositions, jury selection, opening statements, examination and cross-examination of witnesses, recitation of the appropriate jury instructions, closing arguments, jury deliberations, and jury verdict.

Contact a Florida Personal Injury Attorney for a Free Case Evaluation

The knowledgeable Florida personal injury attorneys at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA can meet with you to discuss your case and may pursue monetary compensation on your behalf—whether that be via settlement, litigation, trial, or alternative dispute resolution. To schedule a free consultation or case evaluation with a Florida personal injury attorney, please call us at (727) 451-6900 or contact us online.

*The above information was written and reviewed by either Attorney Matthew Dolman or another injury lawyer at the Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA which has a combined 90 plus years of experience practicing Florida personal injury law. Matthew Dolman himself has been practicing personal injury law in Clearwater and St. Petersburg for the last fifteen (15) years. The information provided comes from extensive research and years of experience trying legal cases in courtrooms throughout Florida.

Client Testimonial

“AMAZING and understanding attorneys! Did great on my case and I highly recommend Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA for anyone that has been injured in an accident!”
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Koralis R.
Jan 2020
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