A personal injury, especially one caused by the negligence of others, can cause lasting trauma. Those injured in accidents of all kinds find themselves facing a long road to recovery, one that sometimes includes permanent life changes. Physical pain is compounded by mental and emotional distress as the possibility of financial hardship looms. Under these circumstances, it can be helpful to seek guidance from a Fort Lauderdale Personal Injury Lawyer.
Understanding Personal Injury Law in Florida
As a bustling tourist destination, Fort Lauderdale has many drivers on the road and pedestrians on the sidewalks who are unfamiliar with the city. Accidents seem almost inevitable though nearly all of them could be avoided if everyone stayed alert and acted responsibly. When accidents do occur, it is important to identify the parties responsible for compensating those who have been injured. The method by which that determination is made depends on the nature of the event that caused the injuries.
Types of Accidents and the Attorney’s Role
As the name implies, every personal injury case is as unique as the individual who is harmed. Most cases, however, fall into one of five main categories:
- Car accidents
- Slip and fall accidents (injuries sustained while engaged in everyday activities)
- Dog attacks
- Assault or other intentional attempts to harm
- Medical malpractice
Each area of personal injury law has its own legal standards and requirements for determining responsible parties and pursuing a claim. For example, Florida is a “no-fault” state for car accidents, meaning that your benefits will usually be paid by your own insurance company, regardless of the legal determination of fault for the crash. For slip and fall incidents, responsibility may lie with the property owner, a contractor, or the maker of a device that caused the accident. Special rules govern medical malpractice cases, including a shorter time allowance for filing a claim. It is important to work with a knowledgeable lawyer with experience in cases similar to yours.
What Can I Expect from an Injury Settlement?
Most people want to know how much compensation they can expect to receive to help them rebuild their lives after an injury. There are no specific guidelines for awards because every case is unique. The primary elements that make up an award of personal injury damages are:
- Medical bills—both those already incurred and those anticipated in the future
- Lost income (present and future) due to reduced ability or inability to work
- Payment for household assistance for tasks the injured person cannot complete as usual
- Property repair or replacement (when applicable)
- Mental and emotional anguish
The legal term for the final category is “pain and suffering.” The awarded amount is often nominal, but can be substantial if the injured person’s life has been permanently altered.
Is There a Deadline to Seek Damages for an Injury?
Yes, so it is wise to speak with an attorney as soon as you can do so. In most cases, Florida’s statute of limitations allows four years from the date of an injury to file a claim, but exceptions do exist. Most importantly, the sooner your Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer starts working on your case, the sooner you can start receiving benefits and feeling the burden of confusion and worry lifted from your shoulders.
Boris Lavent is a Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorney, who will make sure your case is handled fairly and will not leave you alone to suffer losses while dealing with intentionally confusing and often incomplete information. Call us at 305-440-0450 today to arrange a free consultation.