Fort Walton Beach
Fort Walton Beach Personal Injury Lawyer: Helping Victims Recover Just Compensation.
For more than 45 years, the attorneys at Searcy Denney have been helping accident victims in Fort Walton Beach and throughout Florida recover just compensation for their losses. We understand the practical consequences of facing financial strain while recovering from severe traumatic injuries, and we know what it means for our clients to win the financial compensation they deserve. If you have been seriously injured, your Fort Walton Beach personal injury lawyer can seek just compensation on your behalf—and we can help you get back to your normal life.
Our injury attorneys handle cases involving all types of serious accidents and injuries. We routinely represent clients who have suffered substantial losses, and we take pride in making sure our clients have the financial resources they need to recover. Regardless of what happened, and no matter who is to blame, our attorneys will do whatever it takes to make sure you receive just compensation. Are you ready to get started? So are we.
Proven Results in Florida Personal Injury, Medical Malpractice, and Product Defect Lawsuits
With centuries of combined legal experience, our attorneys have secured billions of dollars in compensation for our clients. This includes winning substantial settlements and verdicts for clients who have suffered severe traumatic injuries and lost loved ones under a broad range of circumstances.
Is it Time for You to Speak with Searcy Denney?
Many people struggle with the decision of whether to contact an attorney. At Searcy Denney, we want to make sure this decision is as simple as possible: If you have put in the effort to look for an attorney, you owe it to yourself to speak with one about your legal rights. Our initial consultations are complimentary and completely risk-free, and we are more than happy to speak with you to determine if you have a claim for financial compensation.
- Were you involved in a car, truck, SUV, or motorcycle accident?
- Were you injured on public or private property?
- Were you injured by a product that seemed to malfunction or that did not work as you expected?
- Are you concerned about the quality of your or a loved one’s medical care?
- Has your child, spouse, or parent been seriously injured? Or, have you lost a close family member in an accident?
If your answer to any of these questions is, “Yes,” then our personal injury attorneys can help you understand your situation and decide if it makes sense to pursue a claim for just compensation.
Claims A Fort Injury Law Firm Can Help You Win
Our personal injury practice encompasses all types of serious accidents occurring in Fort Walton Beach and the surrounding areas of North Florida. For more than 45 years, our lawyers have been helping clients recover just compensation in cases involving:
- Personal injury protection (PIP) auto accident insurance claims
- Bodily injury liability (BIL) and uninsured/underinsured motorist (UIM) auto accident insurance claims
- Automobile and commercial vehicle accident claims (including large truck accidents)
- Vehicle and road defect auto accident claims
- Medical mistakes, defective medical devices, and dangerous prescription drugs
- Other accidents involving dangerous and defective products
- Slips, falls, swimming pool accidents, elevator and escalator accidents, construction site accidents, and other premises-related claims
What to Bring When You Meet with Your Fort Walton Personal Injury Lawyer
When you meet with a lawyer at the initial consultation, your goal is to get a sense of whether or not this lawyer is a good fit for your case. However, and perhaps more importantly, it’s also an opportunity for the lawyer to provide you with the following:
- A determination of whether you have a legal claim for compensation
- A candid assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of your case
- A proposed strategy for getting you the compensation you need
- An estimate of what your claim may be worth
To get the full benefit of this meeting, you, therefore, need to come to the meeting fully prepared. As a result, you should bring whatever documents and other information related to the accident that you may have:
- Copies of any letters, emails, or other correspondence related to your case
- Any accident reports that were prepared by third parties
- Copies of your medical records and bills
- Any photographs you may have of the scene of the accident
- Any photographs you may have of your injuries
- Statements from any witnesses
- Documentation of any lost wages
In general, don’t worry about bringing too much information to your meeting. Experienced Fort Walton Beach personal injury will be able to identify the relevant documents almost immediately. Taking all of your records to the initial consultation is much more likely to result in a successful meeting.
10 Examples of Fault in Florida Personal Injury Cases
Fault can take many different forms, and different types of accidents can involve different forms of fault. For example, the grounds for seeking financial compensation after a commercial truck accident will be very different from those involved in a claim for medical malpractice. However, there are some overarching principles, and some types of claims (i.e. claims based on product defects) will be similar across different types of personal injury cases.
With this in mind, here are 10 examples of fault-based claims for damages:
- Driver Negligence – Driver negligence is the most common factor in vehicle collisions. Examples include distracted driving, drunk driving, speeding, tailgating, and failure to yield.
- Employer Negligence – Employers can be held directly liable for mistakes such as failing to conduct background checks and forcing employees to spend too many hours behind the wheel.
- Failure to Properly Maintain a Vehicle – Vehicle owners have a legal obligation to maintain their vehicles so that they do not present unreasonable safety hazards on Georgia’s roadways.
- Failure to Properly Maintain Premises – Property maintenance issues, including failure to make necessary repairs, are common factors in vehicle accident and premises liability cases.
- Inadequate Security – In addition to maintaining their premises, certain commercial property owners also have a legal obligation to provide adequate security for their patrons and guests.
- Design and Construction Defects – Building and road design and construction defects can lead to various types of accidents and injuries.
- Diagnostic and Testing Errors – In medical malpractice cases, diagnostic and testing errors will often support claims for significant financial compensation.
- Surgical and Treatment Errors – Surgical mistakes and other treatment errors are common “causes of action” in medical malpractice cases as well.
- Pharmacy Errors – Pharmacy errors such as improperly filling prescriptions and mixing up patients’ prescriptions can have severe, life-altering consequences.
- Product Defects – While not strictly a form of “fault” (since product defect claims are subject to strict liability, which means proof of negligence is not required), product defects are common factors in all types of accidents.
How Your Fort Walton Beach Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You Build Your Personal Injury Claim
For those who have been severely injured, compiling the necessary documents and evidence can be a tremendous challenge. Between medical appointments and trying to take care of your family, trying to find and organize the numerous documents you need can seem overwhelming. One of the benefits of working with a lawyer is that they can help you compile the evidence you need:
- They can speak with your doctor’s office and other medical professionals on your behalf to get copies of important medical records and bills.
- They can review your medical records to ensure that they clearly reflect the cause of your injuries, your prognosis, and how it will affect your ability to work or engage in day-to-day activities.
- They can obtain copies of any accident reports.
- They can hire professional photographers to take pictures of the scene of the accident.
- They can work with witnesses to obtain clear statements that will support your claim.
- They can obtain any video camera footage from the scene of the accident.
Our Fort Walton Beach accident attorneys know how to build a successful case. We understand that getting the evidence you need isn’t always easy, especially when you’re focused on putting your life back together. As a result, we’re prepared to help you as much as you need, even if it means doing the legwork to collect the documentation that supports your claim.
Frequently Asked Questions About Injury Claims in Fort Walton Beach
Do I Need to Hire a Fort Walton Beach Personal Injury Lawyer?
You are not legally required to hire an attorney to pursue a personal injury claim. You should be aware, however, that insurance companies work closely with their in-house lawyers and outside counsel in deciding how to handle claims. Without a lawyer, you may be at a distinct disadvantage. Also, non-lawyers tend to settle their claims for far less than what they are worth and wind up with uncovered losses.
Will I Have to Go to Court?
The prospect of going to court is understandably intimidating for most clients. The good news is that most personal injury cases settle long before they go to court. That said, for cases that won’t settle, going to court is the only way to get the compensation you deserve. A Fort Walton Beach personal injury lawyer will walk you through the process and make sure you are fully prepared.
Aren’t Personal Injury Attorneys Expensive?
Yes, many lawyers are expensive, billing for their services on an hourly basis. Depending on the type of lawyer you need, they could charge close to one thousand dollars per hour. That said, most, if not all personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. This means that they do not bill for their services up-front. Instead, they take a percentage of any compensation you receive as their fee. This allows their clients to get the legal help they need without having to go out of pocket.
How Do I Find the Right Fort Walton Beach Personal Injury Lawyer for My Case?
Almost all personal injury attorneys offer a free initial consultation. This is the lawyer’s opportunity to review your case and determine whether you have a claim. However, it is also your opportunity to interview the lawyer and decide whether or not they are the right fit for you. They should be willing to answer any questions you may have and make you feel comfortable that they have the experience, skill, and knowledge to handle your case successfully.
The Insurance Company Offered Me a Settlement. Should I Take It?
You might be surprised at how quickly the insurance company offers to settle your claim – they may make an offer within a couple of days. They do this to limit their liability because you also waive any further or future claims if you accept the settlement. As a result, you risk having losses for which you cannot seek compensation. Whether or not you should take the offer depends on the particular circumstances of your case. We recommend speaking with a Fort Walton Beach personal injury lawyer before accepting the offer to better understand your options.
What is My Florida Injury Claim Worth?
If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for the following:
- Medical bills
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
It isn’t always easy to know what your case will be worth at the outset. That will depend on the extent of your injuries and your expected recovery. Even then, recovery doesn’t always go according to plan, and complications can develop. As a result, the exact dollar amount will depend on the specific circumstances of your case.
What are Your Legal Rights After an Accident in Fort Walton Beach?
As an accident victim in Fort Walton Beach, you have a number of fundamental legal rights. For example, you are entitled to the evidence you need in order to determine who (or what company) is to blame for your injuries, and you are entitled to recover just compensation for your injury-related losses. You are also entitled to be represented by an injury law firm at all stages of the process, from investigating the cause of the accident to negotiating with the insurance companies and, if necessary, seeking just compensation at trial.
At Searcy Denney, we handle all personal injury claims on a contingency fee basis. Your initial consultation with a lawyer is complimentary and completely risk-free; and, if you choose our firm to pursue your claim, you will not pay any out-of-pocket fees or costs. You won’t pay anything at all unless we win your case; and, if you accept a settlement or secure a judgment at trial, our fees will be calculated as a percentage of your award.
Schedule a Free Initial Consultation in Fort Walton Beach, FL
To speak with one of our Fort Walton Beach accident attorneys about your legal rights, please call 800-780-8607 or request a free initial consultation online. We speak with people just like you every day, and our attorneys can take action immediately if necessary in order to protect your legal rights.
About Fort Walton Beach, FL
Located on the Florida Panhandle about 40 miles east of Pensacola, Fort Walton Beach is a small city known as a year-round destination for fishing and beach resorts. Proximity to two major Air Force bases helps support a corps of year-round residents but the population swells with added tourism in the summer and a dedicated crew of snowbirds every winter.
Part of the famed Emerald Coast, the beaches in the Fort Walton area are praised for their lush green waters framed by sugar-white sands. To the west, Hurlburt Field serves as Headquarters of the Air Force Special Operations Command and employs over 11,000 military and civilian personnel and contractors, while to the northeast, Eglin Air Force Base employs close to 20,000 more, making these bases by far the largest employers in the area.
History of Fort Walton Beach
Some of the very earliest residents of the Fort Walton Beach area were part of the late prehistoric mound-building culture that archaeologists came to refer to as Fort Walton culture, differentiated from other Native American cultures by the tempering agents used in their pottery. This culture flourished from approximately 1200-1500 CE, but evidence remains in the form of a massive mount that remains over 200 feet wide despite centuries of erosion. Combining ceremonial, religious, and political purposes, the Fort Walton Mound provided a base for the culture’s temple and a home for their chief.
Spanish artifacts and historic accounts attest to the presence of Spanish explorers in the area in the early 1500s, and English and French maps refer to the area as Baya Santa Rosa or Bay St. Rose. Despite legends to the contrary, no evidence has come to light to support the theory that pirates used the area as a base for operations.
During the Civil War, the fortified Confederate Army post, Camp Walton was home to the Walton Guards independent Florida volunteer infantry whose mission was to protect the nearby waterways from Union ships. They saw little action and spent most of their time digging up prehistoric Native American artifacts to display around the camp.
Although Camp Walton was abandoned in 1862, the name remained attached to the area. In 1932, The U.S. Post Office changed the name used for the site to Fort Walton, and the town was incorporated in 1941. The previous year’s census listed a population of 90.
In 1953, the transformation of the area to a tourist destination accelerated as the town changed its name to Fort Walton Beach and incorporated a part of nearby Santa Rosa Island with an amusement park, boardwalk, concessions, and beach cottages. By 1956, census records listed over 9,000 residents.
Attractions in and Around Fort Walton Beach
In addition to enjoying the beaches, fishing opportunities, and mild weather, visitors and residents flock to attractions such as:
- Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park
- Indian Temple Mound and Museum
- Air Force Armament Museum
- Okaloosa Island Pier
- Camp Walton Schoolhouse
- Wild Willy’s Adventure Zone
Every spring, the annual Billy Bowlegs Pirate Festival attracts thousands of visitors. This Mardi-Gras type festival features concerts, fireworks, pirate-themed activities for children, and a torchlight parade.