FAQ Personal Injury
Personal injuries can be complicated and confusing, but when you are working with an experienced team of legal professionals, you can be assured that all of your needs and concerns are being met. At Abercrombie, P.A., we will work tirelessly to fight for the damages you are rightfully owed after a personal injury, and will do so in a way that reduces your stress as much as possible.
If you have suffered an injury in Winter Park or South Florida and need a personal injury attorney, contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation and get started on the path towards financial recovery. Read below about some commonly-asked questions about personal injury, and contact us today about any specific questions regarding your situation and how we can help.
What Is a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
A personal injury lawsuit is a civil action where an injured party seeks financial compensation from the responsible party. This is not a criminal case, and is not brought to court by the government. Instead, it is initiated by a private citizen against another party alleging their injuries were the result of careless or reckless behavior.
Do My Injuries Qualify For a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
In order to qualify for a personal injury lawsuit, you must be able to prove a few things at the outset, before you can begin to seek an amount of damages. The basic criteria for a personal injury lawsuit are the following:
- The defendant had a duty to act in a certain manner
- The defendant failed to uphold that duty
- The failure of duty caused the plaintiff to be injured
- The injuries caused financial damages to the plaintiff
If you are able to prove these points in a court of law, then you have the basis of a personal injury lawsuit. This could range from circumstances such as a car accident where the other driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, a slip and fall at a public mall, or medical malpractice such as an incorrect diagnosis or surgical error.
How Much Can I Sue For In a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
There are many things that go into determining the amount your personal injury case is worth, and we will not be able to determine a final amount to seek without sitting with you and going through every detail of your situation. However, there are a series of things that will be explored when we are building your case:
Economic damages are the foundations of your personal injury lawsuit, and focus on financial factors that are directly tied to income statements, bills, and invoices. This includes hospital bills, medical procedure costs, copays and deductibles, recovery costs, and lost wages from time that you have missed from work. In addition to past losses, we will consider any possible future losses such as upcoming medical procedures, additional time away from work, and even the possibility that you will be unable to resume your work to your full earning capacity.
Non-economic damages address issues that do not have tangible costs attached to them, but are equally important impacts to your life. Since they do not have set dollar amounts, it is important that you work with an experienced personal injury attorney to determine a fair amount of compensation. You are owed money for your suffering, and it is important that you get what you are owed; however, it is equally important that you do not approach the court with a requested amount that is unreasonable, because it will damage the rest of your case as well.
In some specific and rare cases, a court will also allow punitive damages to be considered in the case. This is a civil response to criminal actions, such as assault, murder, or other situations where a personal injury was sustained as the result of criminal behavior. This is an uncommon addition to a personal injury case, and most often is applied when the defendant is a major corporation or a party with substantial financial assets.
Can I Sue For An Accident That Happened a Long Time Ago?
Florida has a series of statutes of limitations that outlines the amount of time a plaintiff has to file a civil suit for a personal injury. These times vary depending on the situation, but we suggest beginning the process as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more likely it is that an insurance company will try to argue that the injury did not occur from the accident in question, even if it is still inside the statute of limitations.
Will I Need To Go To Trial For My Personal Injury?
We will first work with the defendant and their attorneys to negotiate a settlement that is fair to both parties. In many cases, it makes legal and financial sense for a defendant to settle instead of going to trial, because once a trial begins, the defendant loses all ability to manage their own situation and outcome. In addition, they will be able to avoid depositions and discovery phases that may reveal additional factors that they would prefer stays private.
Should I Accept An Offer From The Insurance Company?
Do not accept any offers from an insurance company until after you have consulted with an attorney. Remember that an insurance company’s first order of business is to protect their investments, and will attempt to offer you a lowball settlement in exchange for agreeing to never follow up on the incident. Do not sign anything from an insurance company until you are confident in your legal representation.
Do I Need A Personal Injury Attorney?
There is no law in the United States that says a plaintiff needs a personal injury attorney to pursue a settlement or lawsuit, but it will make your life a lot easier if you choose to use one. The world of personal injury is extremely complicated, and while you are recovering from your injuries, you would be required to take on an enormous amount of stress trying to represent yourself against other highly trained lawyers.
Contact Us Today
We hope that some of these basic answers give you a general idea of personal injury law, but we look forward to meeting with you during your initial consultation to answer any specific questions you may have. Contact us today to begin working on a case to recover the damages you deserve.