Being injured causes serious physical, emotional, and financial stress. When that injury was avoidable because it was caused by someone else’s negligence, there may be relief available to the victim. Whether the injury occurred in a motor vehicle accident, at work, at home, or because of a defective product, parties with liability may be responsible for the victim’s damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
If you were injured by someone else’s negligence, speak to a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Call a St. Petersburg personal injury attorney at (727) 222-6922 or contact us online to discuss your potential claims.
Proven Results in Personal Injury Cases
The personal injury lawyers at Dolman Law Group have experience negotiating, settling, and litigating personal injury cases of all types. Past settlements and verdicts have ranged from $80,000 to more than $3 million for cases that involved traumatic brain injuries, back injuries, spinal cord injuries, and more. While these prior results do not guarantee future outcomes for new claims, they represent the commitment of the lawyers at Dolman Law Group in fighting to get the best possible results for our clients.
Types of Personal Injury Claims
Injuries caused by a negligent person, business, or government entity may give rise to a personal injury claim. Lawyers who handle these claims frequently help clients with injuries such as:
- Concussions, traumatic brain injuries, and other head injuries;
- Spinal cord injuries
- Back and neck injuries
- Birth injuries
- Brain injuries
- Burn injuries
- Slip-and-fall injuries
- Wrongful death
- Auto accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Truck accidents
- Medical Malpractice
Parties with liability for a personal injury claim vary by the circumstances of the case. For example, Florida is a no-fault insurance state that requires those who drive a motor vehicle to carry a Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance policy. When an injury is caused by a motor vehicle accident, the victim must first file a claim with their own insurance carrier (or in the case of an uninsured or underinsured motorist, they may file a claim under the other party’s carrier). A victim may only file a lawsuit after medical expenses and lost wages have exceeded the PIP limits.
When a personal injury victim litigates their claim, multiple parties may be included as defendants. Depending on the cause of the injury, common defendants may include:
- Drivers who were driving distracted, driving under the influence, or violating other traffic laws.
- Businesses who negligently hired or trained employees, or who failed to safely maintain their property or equipment.
- Employers who allowed or encouraged unsafe or illegal practices to “get the job done.”
- Individuals who sexually harassed or abused others at home, in public, or in the workplace.
- Manufacturers, Distributors, and Retailers who designed, distributed, marketed, or sold defective products, or failed to warn consumers about product use.
Personal Injury Damages
Damages for personal injury claims may be economic or non-economic, and depend on the severity of the injury and the resulting real and projected losses.
Florida courts rarely award punitive damages, and do so only in extreme cases of gross negligence and intentional harm, while the more commonly awarded compensatory damages are for actual costs and losses. The most common compensatory damages in personal injury cases include medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Personal injury victims may recover medical costs, including ambulance and emergency services, hospitalization, surgery, radiology, prescription medication, physical therapy, and assistive devices for rehabilitation. In cases of long-term disability or chronic condition, victims may recover for future medical costs and care as well.
Personal injury victims may recover damages for lost wages if they missed work due to their injuries. If a victim cannot return to work, must reduce hours, or is forced to change professions because of their injury, they may also be able to claim the loss of future wages and benefits, or “lost earning capacity.”
Pain and Suffering
In cases that involve serious injuries, especially those that are long-term, it is not uncommon for victims to recover damages for pain and suffering. Determining these types of damages can be difficult, but a skilled personal injury attorney will work to ensure important factors such as the severity of the injury, the age of the victim, how long the injury is projected to impact the victim, and the personal consequences of the injury are all taken into consideration.
At-Fault Parties Will Try to Duck Responsibility
Under Florida law, personal injury cases are typically subject to “comparative negligence.” (Exceptions are cases that involve defective products, abuse, and sexual harassment.) Comparative negligence means there may be shared liability for damages. For example, if a victim is found partially responsible for his or her own injuries, awarded damages will be reduced by that percentage of assigned fault. Therefore, defendants have a strong incentive to shift blame to the victim in order to avoid paying full damages.
Common strategies defendants employ include arguing that victims violated traffic laws, were under the influence of alcohol or drugs, were trespassing, or used a product incorrectly. Failing those arguments, defendants may outright deny their own liability, or try to place their share of the blame on a co-defendant. Personal injury lawyers anticipate these tactics and will work to ensure that those who are responsible for their client’s injuries will be held accountable.
Contact a St. Petersburg Personal Injury Lawyer
Most law firms offer free consultations for potential clients to discuss the details of their case. If you have a consultation and the lawyer agrees to pursue your claims, you may not have to pay attorney fees and litigation costs up front. Personal injury cases are typically handled on a contingent fee basis, meaning the lawyer will deduct their fees and expenses from any eventual settlement or judgment.
If you have suffered an injury because of someone else’s negligence, speak to an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. If our firm agrees to represent you and pursue your claim, our lawyers will work hard to protect your rights and get you the best possible outcomes. Contact the legal team at Dolman Law Group in St. Petersburg at (727) 222-6922 or online for a free consultation.