How to Ensure You Receive FULL Compensation for Your Florida Accident Injury Claim
Most Floridians have either been involved in an accident themselves, or at least know someone who has, and while some accidents are minor, others are severe, causing painful injuries and death. There are many ways in which accidents can happen, and every accident can cause injuries that range in type and severity.
At Parker Waichman LLP, our Florida Personal Injury and Accident Attorneys provide legal representation to clients who have suffered injuries in auto accidents, pedestrian accidents, workplace accidents, and trip and fall accidents, among many others.
Florida Personal Injury and Accidents Areas of Practice
At Parker Waichman LLP, our Florida Accident and Injury Attorneys handle numerous accident cases involving personal injuries, which include, and are not limited to, the following:
- Car Accidents;
- Trucking Accidents;
- Motorcycle Accidents;
- Pedestrian Accidents;
- Labor Law Compliance and Workplace Accidents;
- Construction Accidents;
- Product Liability;
- Trip and Fall Accidents; and
- And all other areas of Personal Injury.
No two accidents are ever exactly alike. A car accident can happen for countless reasons as can a workplace accident or trip and fall accident. As such, anyone injured in an accident may find guidance by reviewing the information below and speaking with a skilled Florida Personal Injury and Accident Attorney.
Car Accident Lawsuits and Settlements
We all know that car accidents happen on a daily basis, and often, the accident can be blamed on a particular driver’s negligent conduct (or perhaps on multiple drivers). Car accidents happen for a variety of reasons, and many are preventable.
Causes of car accidents include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Texting, talking on the phone (holding phone in hand), using social media apps such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and otherwise being distracted while driving;
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, including prescription drugs (and some over the counter drugs);
- Traffic offenses, such as speeding, failing to stop at a stop sign, running a red light, failing to use a signal, unsafe lane change, failing to yield, and following too closely;
- Vehicle equipment failures, such as brake failure or tire blowouts, some of which may be related to a product defect; and
- Driving while drowsy or falling asleep at the wheel.
Florida is one of only a handful of states that has a “No-Fault” car insurance system. What this means is that fault is not considered when paying out benefits for injuries suffered in a car accident. Under Florida law, every driver is required to have a car insurance policy that covers a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP). What many people may not know is that PIP does not cover bodily injuries suffered in a vehicular accident. Rather, PIP applies to situations where a child may be injured in a school bus accident, a bicyclist may be struck by a car, or a pedestrian may be struck by a car, among other non-vehicle-on-vehicle accidents.
Florida does not require bodily injury liability (BIL) coverage which can make it difficult for some injured victims to seek compensation when someone else is at fault for causing a car accident. As such, anyone injured in a car accident should act quickly by speaking with a qualified Florida Car Accident Attorney.
Truck Accident Lawsuits and Settlements
Truck accidents have the potential to produce devastating injuries. Semi-trucks range in size and weight depending on whether a truck is carrying a heavy load or no load at all. Even the lightest and smallest of semi-trucks can cause significant damage if involved in an accident. Truck accidents happen for some of the very same reasons as car accidents, and include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Distracted driving, such as playing with the radio, texting, using social media apps, talking on the phone, and taking videos or photos while driving, among others;
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
- Drowsy driving or falling asleep at the wheel;
- Failing to yield;
- Failing to use a turn signal;
- Failing to stop at a red light;
- Failing to stop at a stop sign;
- Following too closely;
- Driver inexperience or lack of training;
- Brake failure, tire blowouts, and other mechanical defects; and
- Weather conditions.
Because truck accidents will involve more than just a truck driver and the injured person, it is important to discuss any injuries sustained in a truck accident with a Florida Truck Accident Attorney. There are multiple variables to address with trucking accidents, and questions will be asked of not only the truck driver but also the truck owner and/or employer. Additionally, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) may investigate a truck accident, which can be critical to any potential legal claim involving injuries sustained in a trucking accident.
Motorcycle Accidents Lawsuits and Settlements
Motorcycles are a way of life for many Floridians, and unfortunately, accidents happen every year that result in fatal injuries. While motorcycles do not afford the same protection as cars and trucks, motorcyclists should still feel safe on the roadway alongside other, larger vehicles. As with car and truck accidents, there are various causes of motorcycle accidents, some of which include, and are not limited to, the following:
- Distracted driving (texting, talking on the phone, taking pictures or videos, or using social media apps, among other distracting behaviors);
- Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
- Traffic violations, such as speeding, failing to stop at a stop sign or red light, failing to yield, failing to use a turn signal, and changing lanes too quickly, among others; and
- Weather conditions.
The personal injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident are often permanent if a motorcyclist survives an accident. The road to recovery may be a lifelong challenge for injured victims. As such, acting quickly to speak with a Florida Motorcycle Accident Attorney is a good idea to find out if legal action is an option for someone who has been seriously injured in a motorcycle accident.
Pedestrian Accidents Lawsuits and Settlements
Pedestrian accidents often leave victims with life-changing injuries such as head trauma, shattered bones, neck and back injuries, and spinal cord injuries which may lead to paralysis, among other serious injuries. Failure to yield is a common cause of pedestrian accidents. However, the same common causes of auto accidents apply to pedestrian accidents. Whether a driver is texting while driving, falls asleep at the wheel, or is driving under the influence, among others, the consequences are the same – a pedestrian is severely injured or killed. Therefore, anyone injured in a pedestrian accident may find guidance by discussing the accident and resulting injuries with a Florida Pedestrian Accident Attorney.
LABOR LAWS AND WORKPLACE ACCIDENTS
What All Workers Should Know
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) governs both employers and employees, and the Act, in part, is meant to protect employees from wrongful acts, such as failing to pay an employee minimum wage. Whether an employee receives tips as part of his or her job or not, that employee is entitled to be compensated “no less than minimum wage,” a rule that many employers and employees are not aware of. While many employers comply with the FLSA, there are some employers that do not, and employees who are not appropriately paid under the FLSA may have grounds to file a lawsuit. Overtime pay is another area where employees may not be receiving the compensation they are entitled to.
The United States Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (MSPA) is intended to protect migrant and seasonal agricultural workers from unlawful employment practices. This Act does not apply to independent contractors, however, so it is important to have a good understanding of whether a worker is considered an employee or an independent contractor. Under the MSPA, all employers are required to disclose the terms and conditions of employment to the workers, must provide such terms and conditions in writing upon request, and must post such terms and conditions in the workplace so that they are visible to all employees. Additionally, the MSPA governs other matters such as fair pay and safe work conditions, among others.
A worker might be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if he or she suffered physical injuries while on the job. For example, if a worker falls and fractures a bone while on the job, he or she could be eligible to receive compensation for medical expenses and lost wages. In some situations, a worker may be able to receive workers’ compensation benefits for an illness contracted while on the job. However, because all situations are different, it is important to work alongside a Florida Workers’ Compensation Attorney. It is also important for workers to understand that independent contractors may not be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
Construction Accidents Lawsuits and Settlements
Florida continues to boom, attracting new residents every year. Along with a rise in population comes the need for new construction to accommodate new homes and new businesses. On-site construction accidents and illnesses afflict workers every year, leaving many of them with permanent injuries, and a few with fatal injuries. Falls are one of the most common construction accidents as a significant number of workers must operate from ten or more feet above the ground. Whether a work is harnessed or not, a fall can cause debilitating and permanent injuries. While workers’ compensation benefits may be available to some injured construction workers, it is also important to find out if a construction site was unsafe in any way and if an accident could have been prevented.
By speaking with a Florida Construction Accident Attorney, injured workers can find out if a potentially unsafe working environment or violation of rules and regulations contributed in any way to the accident. In such cases, an injured worker may choose to file a lawsuit instead of filing a workers’ compensation claim. Because time is limited to both file a workers’ compensation claim and a personal injury claim, it is an excellent idea to consult with a Florida Construction Accident Attorney about any injuries or illnesses sustained in the course of employment.
Product Liability Lawsuits and Settlements
Defective consumer products and defective drugs and medical devices cause thousands of injuries each year across the country. Customers and patients rely on manufacturers to ensure products are safe. When unsafe products enter the marketplace, those individuals paying for the products suffer, and often, manufacturers are aware of certain safety issues or defects and do not take the proper steps to cure the defects. Whether a person has suffered an injury because of a child’s toy, food, medication, or a medical device, such as a hip implant, finding out if the product’s defect caused or contributed to cause the injury is a good first step to moving forward. A qualified Florida Product Liability Attorney can help injured victims investigate if a manufacturer is to blame for producing a defective product linked to injuries.
Trip and Fall Accidents Lawsuits and Settlements
People fall every day for a variety of reasons. An uneven walkway, spilled liquid, or an unsalted driveway are just a few ways in which people fall and become injured. A trip and fall accident can happen in a person’s home, at work, in a grocery store, or in a public park, among other locations. Regardless of when and where a trip and fall accident happens, the aftermath can be difficult when a person has suffered injuries requiring extensive medical care that may be needed for a long period of time, if not a lifetime. To find out if a person’s negligence (or a business or property owner) caused or contributed to cause an individual’s fall, the injured individual must first discuss the matter with a Florida Trip and Fall Accident Attorney.
What You Should Know About Florida’s Statutes of Limitation
Every state has time limitations on how long a person or party has to file a lawsuit. In Florida, there are different timeframes for different types of lawsuits, as set forth below.
- For personal injury lawsuits, injured individuals have four years from the date of the negligent act that caused injury (or the date the injured person discovered his or her injury was related to negligence) to file a lawsuit against the alleged negligent party.
- For medical malpractice lawsuits, injured individuals have two years from the date of the negligent act that caused injury (or the date the injured person discovered his or her injury was related to negligence) to file a lawsuit against the alleged negligent party. However, no lawsuit can be filed more than four years after the date of the alleged negligent act.
- For wrongful death lawsuits, the representative of a deceased individual’s estate has two years from the day of death to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the alleged negligent party.
- For product liability lawsuits, injured individuals have four years from the date they learned their injury was caused due to a defective product, such as a drug or medical device.
For most lawsuits relating to injuries in Florida, the “discovery rule” applies so that the statute of limitation in Florida does not begin to run until the injured person realized or “discovered” that a negligent act caused his or her injuries. However, this rule does not apply to wrongful death cases that strictly adhere to the two-year deadline. Given that missing a statute of limitation can bar a person from filing a legal claim, acting quickly is essential to ensure an injured person is able to seek compensation for injuries suffered because of another’s negligent conduct.
The Case Process When Facing Personal Injuries Resulting from an Accident or Defective Product
Personal injury, wrongful death, medical malpractice and product liability cases all have the potential to take a very long time to resolve. Some cases can settle quickly before going to trial, but other cases could take one year or longer to even get a trial date. As such, patience is key when pursuing legal action to receive compensation for injuries. The first step in any potential personal injury case is for an injured person to have a free consultation with a Florida Personal Injury and Accident Attorney. If an attorney believes a person has a good case, that case is either filed in court or perhaps negotiated before going to court after extensive review of medical records and other documentation proving a party acted negligently and that such negligence caused injuries
It is the ultimate goal to help a client receive compensation for injuries he or she sustained because of another’s negligence. While some cases are dismissed, a truly skilled attorney will work to either settle a case or win a verdict at trial. There are never guarantees in any lawsuit, but the more experienced the attorney, the better off a client will be.
How a Florida Personal Injury Accident Attorney Can Help Me
Many injured people hold off on contacting an attorney as they are not sure if they really have a claim. These same individuals may ponder the situation for a long period of time until it may be too late. As such, even if an injured person is unsure whether he or she has a valid potential lawsuit, it is a good idea to allow an attorney to review the matter and determine early on if a lawsuit is warranted. An attorney not only evaluates the potential claim but also answers important questions that injured victims and their loved ones have. An attorney can also help injured individuals understand why they do or do not have a valid claim, and what the next steps should be.
Florida Accident and Injury Law Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How much money would I likely receive in a settlement or at trial?
First, it is important to remember that compensation is not guaranteed. However, if the facts are clear that a person’s injuries are linked to negligent conduct, that person is more likely to receive compensation. The amount of compensation is based on a variety of factors, including, but not limited to, the severity of the injuries, whether those injuries are permanent, the amount of medical expenses incurred, lost wages, whether the injured person is able to work again, the age of the injured person, and the cost of future medical care. The more severe the injuries, the greater the compensation is likely to be.
Should I contact my insurance company after being involved in an auto accident?
The insurance process can be complicated, and many injured individuals are not fully aware of what benefits or compensation they are entitled to. As such, it is a good idea to speak with an attorney about injuries sustained in a car accident, as an attorney can protect an injured person’s rights to ensure the injured person is not being taken advantage of.
How do I know who is at fault for causing my injuries?
An attorney will thoroughly evaluate a potential claim to determine how a person sustained his or her injuries and whether anything could have been done to prevent those injuries. Depending on the nature of the accident and injuries, it is possible that more than one person or party could be at fault for contributing to someone’s injuries (i.e., multi-vehicle car accident). If more than one party is at fault, a lawsuit against multiple parties is certainly a possibility.
Parker Waichman LLP Has Recovered More Than $2 Billion For Injured Clients
Parker Waichman LLP is one of a few personal injury law firms in the United States that has recovered more than $2 billion for its clients through arbitrations, mediations, settlements and trial verdicts. Our nationally-recognized law firm has received many awards and honors, demonstrating our firm’s dedication to every client’s best interests. Examples of such honors include the following:
- AVVO Rating of 9.8/10;
- AV Peer-Reviewed “Preeminent Lawyers” rating;
- Listed in Peer-Reviewed “Best Lawyers”; and
- A Perfect Ranking of “5 Dragons” according to Lawdragon’s peer review.
The Florida Personal Injury and Accident Attorneys of Parker Waichman LLP use their advocacy skills to produce the best legal representation possible to injured victims from throughout Florida, some of which have died because of their injuries. Our firm has seen just how devastating accidents can be, and how both the victims and their family members suffer the consequences.
Contact Parker Waichman LLP Today to Schedule Your Free Consultation
Whether you have suffered injuries in a car accident, workplace accident, trip, and fall accident, or because of an alleged defective product, it is essential to speak with a Florida Personal Injury and Accident Attorney right away to discuss the situation. At Parker Waichman LLP, our legal team is standing by to provide injured individuals with the guidance they need and deserve. Our attorneys help clients from in and around Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Naples, Bonita Springs, Immokalee and Marco Island.
If you would like to schedule a free consultation to speak with one of our Florida Personal Injury and Accident Attorneys, contact Parker Waichman LLP today by calling (800) YOUR-LAWYER (968-7529). We have attorneys and paralegals standing by who are fluent in Spanish to offer assistance to Spanish-speaking clients.
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