Florida Personal Injury Lawyers

 

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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 (TBI), 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.

At Dolman Law Group, we offer free consultations for victims of negligence injuries in Florida. We want to discuss what happened and help potential clients understand their rights. We may be able to develop a claim or take their case to trial and recover money damages for them. 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.

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Why Should I Hire a Florida Personal Injury Lawyer to Represent Me?

Suffering an unexpected personal injury often entails financial and emotional burdens, in addition to the stress of physical recovery. You should not have to pay the price for someone else's negligence. With the assistance of a personal injury attorney, you may be able to recover the full value of your losses. Unfortunately, insurance companies will almost certainly try to diminish the value of your claim.

You need to be prepared to protect your right to seek compensation for damages. The best way to do this is by hiring an accident injury attorney who has experience anticipating the tactics powerful insurance companies will use to avoid paying out maximum compensation.

A personal injury lawyer will review evidence, medical records, and expert witness testimony to establish a case for liability. They will act as your representative in any communication between you and the insurance company, bill collectors, and law enforcement. If you attempt to handle your personal injury claim on your own, there's a much greater chance that you will end up with an unsatisfactory settlement. Protect your family's future by seeking out a reputable personal injury law firm with a record of success.

Types of Accidents and Incidents That Cause a Personal Injury Claim

An individual can sustain personal injuries in a variety of accidents and situations. 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. The actions you take -or don't take- in the aftermath of your accident can end up harming a personal injury case down the line.

Get Medical Help Immediately to Protect Your Health and Your Rights

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. 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. Delaying medical care is not only bad for your health, but it can also reflect badly on any attempt to seek compensation in the future since delaying medical care can call injury credibility into question.

Never Admit Fault or Apologize After an Accident

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. 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 because insurance companies are aware of how these platforms can offer them information they can use against you.

Document the Accident Scene As Much As You Can

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 who is not injured, relegating the task to them is often your best option.

Make sure to take pictures of where you were injured, the injury, and the surroundings. This preserves 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 a personal injury attorney.

Proving a Florida Personal Injury Case in Three 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 three parts:

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

The Other Party Was to Exercise a 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.

They Breached Their Duty of Care

Once it is established that one party 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. However, it can also become complicated. What is deemed "reasonable" can vary from situation to situation and from minute to minute.

You Must Establish Causation Between the Accident and Your Injuries

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. They could also claim that you fell because of the puddle but that your back injury was pre-existing.

Your Injuries Led to Your Economic and Non-Economic Losses

A personal injury lawyer also must prove their client suffered resulting harm because of negligence to recover compensation. This compensation could be physical, emotional, or financial. In most cases, when the victim suffered moderate to serious injuries, we seek compensation for all three types of harm, including both economic and non-economic damages.

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.

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. In reality, it's about preventing someone from becoming poor because they were in an accident. We want to protect your family's financial security and ensure your medical bills and other accident-related costs will not harm your future financial health.

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. We believe no one should have to pay for the expenses they incurred because of another party's bad behavior, including thoughtless or careless mistakes.

Some damages are easy to put a value on, like the cost of a car or the cost of surgery. Receipts and medical bills can prove these type of damages. 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?

Common Forms of Compensation in a Florida Personal Injury Claim

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. Serious injuries like traumatic brain injuries can have medical consequences that last a lifetime, which can be compensated.
  • 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.

Examples of Non-Economic Damages in a Florida Personal Injury Lawsuit

  • 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 conditions like 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 could recover damages for this hardship. This type of damage is known as loss of consortium when it deals directly with a spouse.
  • Loss of enjoyment: If your injury took away your ability to do something in life that brought your joy, like painting, building furniture, or going on walks, your trial attorney may be able to get you compensation for these damages.

At Dolman Law Group, we also handle wrongful death cases. They are personal injury cases in which the victim has passed away from their injuries or a related complication. In a wrongful death action, we are able to help their surviving family members pursue a financial recovery based on their medical bills, funeral and burial costs, loss of services, conscious pain and suffering, lost income, and the emotional losses the family endured.

Filing a Claim for Personal Injuries in Florida

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Before a personal injury 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 to try to reach a solution before turning to the civil courts if necessary later.

Filing a claim for personal injuries places the at-fault driver's insurance company on notice of a potential personal injury 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 their own insurance company. In relatively minor accidents, the victim's personal injury protection (PIP) policy may cover their medical expenses, and they would not pursue a fault-based claim.

Personal Injury Lawyers Construct Demand Packages for Damages

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 lawyer at our firm can assemble a settlement demand package. They will then send it to the claims adjuster who handles the case for the insurance company. 

In addition to the demand package, the personal injury attorney will send a letter of introduction that states an initial monetary demand for settlement. For serious personal injury cases, they 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 the parties reach an agreement to settle - or the parties reach an impasse. Settlement negotiations can last for a few weeks or many months. The length of time usually depends on the nature of the injuries sustained and the complexity of the personal injury case.

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 personal injury 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)

When a personal injury attorney from Dolman Law Group manages a case for a client, we approach the claim strategically. We know how to weigh the options, choose the most effective ones for our clients, and navigate the necessary processes. We may be able to determine your options for pursuing compensation during our initial consultation.

Our team represents our clients' best interests throughout the claims process by negotiating for appropriate payouts based on the facts of their cases. When we represent a personal injury victim, we seek justice through fair compensation. 

Filing a Florida Personal Injury Lawsuit and Litigating a Personal Injury Case

File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Florida

In some cases, the insurance company and the injured plaintiff cannot agree to settle a personal injury claim. The injured plaintiff can file and litigate a personal injury lawsuit in the Florida civil court system if settlement negotiations fail. Just because a plaintiff's attorney files a personal injury 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. Instead, they are typically resolved out of court via settlement because it is much more convenient and economic in the long run.

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 primary components of a Florida civil jury trial include:

  • pretrial motions and depositions
  • jury selection
  • opening statements
  • examination and cross-examination of witnesses
  • recitation of the appropriate jury instructions
  • closing arguments
  • jury deliberations
  • jury verdict

The decision about whether to settle a case or take it to trial is intensely personal. A Florida personal injury attorney on our team will help you weigh the pros and cons of going to trial. Based on their experience and your circumstances, they can help you make a determination. 

Why Should I Choose Dolman Law Group to Represent Me in a Florida Personal Injury Lawsuit?

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. 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. 

A Florida personal injury lawyer at Dolman Law Group 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. We have over a decade of experience successfully recovering maximum compensation for our injured clients. 

As a Dolman Law Group client, you can feel confident that your needs are our priority. We manage the entire claims process for our clients, answering their questions and providing updates throughout. We want to ensure they can focus on treatment, rehabilitation, healing, and returning to their life during this time.

Dolman Law Group Recovers Maximum Compensation for Our Injured Clients

Dolman Law Group is proud to represent injured accident victims across the state of Florida. Our team has 115 years of combined experience securing fair settlements for our clients, resulting in millions of dollars in damages recovered. Some of our most recent settlements include:

  • 6.7 million dollars for a wrongful death claim
  • 5 million dollars for a car accident victim with burn injuries
  • 3.8 million dollars for a semi-truck accident victim with a traumatic brain injury

Our results-driven approach has yielded impressive results, but we don't just measure success in terms of dollars. Dolman Law Group takes pride in our client testimonials, which praise our legal expertise as well as our straightforward, empathetic communication style.

Frequently Asked Questions About Florida Personal Injury Lawsuits

How much does a personal injury lawyer cost?

As Florida personal injury lawyers, we operate on a contingency fee basis. What this means is we will take on your case at no upfront cost to you. If we are able to successfully settle your case with the negligent party or their insurance company, we recover our fee out of the compensation we recover for you. Typically, this is about a third of the total value of the settlement or court awards. To put it simply, we don't get paid until you do.

How do I find a good accident lawyer? Should I call a lawyer referral service like 411 PAIN?

The personal injury lawyer you choose can have a huge influence on the success of your settlement negotiations. Your accident injury lawyer should be respected by their peers and former clients, have specific experience handling claims like yours, and be able to provide you with evidence of both.

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 personal injury 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?

Unfortunately, lawyer referral services like 411 PAIN do not thoroughly vet the lawyers in their network, nor do they take the time to match you up with the best personal injury lawyer for your claim. We recommend conducting your own research to find the best personal injury attorney for your Florida claim.

What are my rights if my last attorney screwed up my personal injury claim?

If you believe that your last personal injury lawyer messed up your claim, resulting in an inadequate settlement offer, you may have legal recourse. You may be able to sue for what is known as legal malpractice. There are many issues that can qualify as legal malpractice, but it can be difficult to prove. Reach out to one of our personal injury attorneys as soon as possible for assistance.

Contact Dolman Law Group For Help With Your Florida Personal Injury Lawsuit

The actions of a negligent property owner, incompetent medical provider, or reckless driver can have lasting effects on your ability to work, enjoy your life, and even function. Dolman Law Group can help you get your life back on track with a fair personal injury settlement. Our team will dedicate our time, expertise, and resources to the pursuit of maximum compensation for your personal injury.

The knowledgeable Florida personal injury attorneys at Dolman Law Group have years of experience representing injured accident victims from Pensacola to Miami. Our team can meet with you to discuss your case. We may pursue monetary compensation on your behalf via settlement, litigation, trial, or alternative dispute resolution.

At Dolman Law Group, we know you have questions. That is why we offer injured accident victims a free initial consultation with one of our Florida personal injury attorneys. These case assessments are completely confidential, and there is no obligation to hire our team just because we meet with you.

To schedule a free consultation or case evaluation with a Florida personal injury attorney from our team, please call us at (727) 451-6900 or contact us online today to start exploring all of your legal options. You deserve justice, and our law firm can help you get that justice. 

Matthew Dolman

Clearwater Personal Injury and Insurance Attorney

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has represented over 11,000 injury victims and has served as lead counsel in over 1000 lawsuits. Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess or $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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