Injured in the Florida Panhandle? Discuss Your Legal Rights With a Pensacola Personal Injury Lawyer Today
Injuries can happen under a broad range of scenarios. From vehicle collisions to slips and falls, and from medical mistakes to the use of defective products, all types of unexpected occurrences can lead to severe, life-altering injuries. Fortunately, in many cases, accident victims and their loved ones will be entitled to recover just compensation. Any Pensacola personal injury lawyer at Searcy Denney can help accident victims and families throughout the Florida Panhandle recover the financial compensation they deserve.
How a Pensacola Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help During the Settlement Process
Understandably, many people don’t want to file a lawsuit or go to court. Unfortunately, they may also assume that they don’t need a Pensacola personal injury lawyer. While you are not required to be represented by an attorney, non-lawyers are at a significant disadvantage, even during the settlement process.
Insurance companies will try to settle your claim for as little as possible. They will demand that you prove what happened and require you to submit extensive documentation concerning the accident and the injuries you suffered. They will also pressure you to settle your claim as quickly as possible, often before you even know the extent of your injuries or what your total losses will be. This can be overwhelming when you’re in pain and trying to focus on your recovery.
Meanwhile, every insurance company works closely with in-house legal experts and outside attorneys to determine how they should handle your claim. As a result, they know the law and understand how it will apply to your case. They use this knowledge to shape their strategy. Doing so can give them a tremendous advantage if they know you don’t want to go to court.
The bottom line is that the insurance company is not on your side, even when they are responsive and cooperative. Working with an experienced Pensacola personal injury lawyer levels the playing field. Here are some of the ways that an attorney can help with your claim:
- They can help collect the documentation you need to bring a successful claim.
- They can interview witnesses to the accident.
- They can speak on your behalf with the insurance companies, the other driver, and any other parties who may be involved in your case.
- They can negotiate the settlement of your claim, subject to your approval.
Generally speaking, non-lawyers settle their claims for far less than what they are worth. Our Pensacola injury lawyers can make sure you get fair compensation for your injuries.
What If My Claim Goes to Court?
If you cannot settle your claim, going to court is your only option to get the compensation you deserve. Unfortunately, the legal process is extraordinarily difficult for non-lawyers to navigate. A procedural mistake can jeopardize your entire claim. For example, your case may be dismissed because you failed to meet a deadline. You may not be able to submit critical evidence because you did not follow the appropriate rules. The insurance company will be represented by counsel who will take advantage of your lack of legal experience.
A Pensacola personal injury lawyer will know how to navigate the legal process, including knowing when the deadlines are, what documents have to be submitted, what evidence you will need, and how to prepare your case for trial. Also, they will know the law and how it applies to your case. This knowledge is invaluable, as they will provide guidance as to when you should settle and when you should proceed to trial.
Our Pensacola Injury Lawyers Explain Negligence
Most accident cases are the result of negligence, but negligence isn’t always easy to prove. To start, it helps to understand the concept. Negligence occurs when someone acts or fails to act with a level of care that an ordinarily prudent person would in the same or similar circumstances. While this sounds straightforward, it’s important to realize that negligence is rarely black and white. Instead, determining whether the other party was negligent will depend mainly on the facts surrounding your accident. A single fact that seems insignificant can be the difference between a simple accident where no one is at fault and one caused by negligence.
Furthermore, what is considered negligent behavior will depend on the nature of your case. Here are some common examples of negligence in different types of accident cases:
- A driver runs a red light and causes a car accident.
- A doctor fails to take a complete medical history and prescribes the wrong treatment.
- A retail store owner fails to repair a broken step, which causes a customer to trip and fall.
- A trucking company fails to replace worn tires on one of its trucks, which leads to an accident.
If you’ve been injured in an accident, a Pensacola injury lawyer can review your case and determine whether the other party should be held accountable.
Negligence Results in Unintentional Harm
To better understand negligence, it’s helpful to note that negligence is unintentional. The person who is speeding didn’t intend to cause a car accident or injure another person. They simply failed to take the necessary steps that a reasonable person would take to prevent an accident. Compare this to an intentional tort, such as where someone assaults another person – the assaulter intended to harm the victim.
Strict Liability Claims are Also Handled by Our Pensacola Injury Attorneys
Proving negligence is the crux of most accident cases. However, some personal injury cases are judged on a strict liability basis. In a strict liability case, the fact that the incident occurred is a sufficient basis for establishing liability. This means that you do not need to prove that the other party negligently or intentionally caused your injury. In Florida, there are two types of personal injury cases that follow the strict liability standard:
- Dog bites. Dog owners are liable for any injury caused by their dog. The victim does not need to prove that the dog’s owner was negligent in controlling the dog or that they intended for the dog to attack.
- Product liability cases. Companies can be held liable when their defective products cause injuries. You do not need to prove that the company was negligent when they manufactured or sold the product. If you can prove that the product was defective somehow, the company can be held liable for your injuries.
While it may sound like strict liability cases are easier to prove, they have their challenges. Product liability cases, for example, can be extremely complex and involve sophisticated legal and factual issues. No matter what kind of case you may have, our Pensacola injury lawyers can help you get the compensation you need to rebuild your life.
How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Claim in Florida?
The amount of time you have to file a claim depends on the specific type of accident in which you or your loved one was injured. For example, in the case of a non-fatal auto accident, you generally have four years from the date of the accident to file a claim. However, if you need to file a claim for wrongful death, then the statute of limitations is reduced from four years to two. In any case, there is no reason to wait any longer than necessary, and there are actually several reasons why it will be beneficial to initiate your claim as soon as possible.
Speak With a Pensacola Personal Injury Lawyer at Searcy Denney
If you, your child or any other member of your family has been seriously injured in an accident, you do not have to let the accident take control of your life. To discuss your legal rights with a Pensacola personal injury lawyer at Searcy Denney, call us at 800-780-8607 or request a free consultation online today.