How to Tell if You Have a Personal Injury Claim
Florida Law Firm for Personal Injury Clients
Should You Hire an Attorney After an Accident or Injury?
If you have been seriously injured in a vehicle collision, a slip-and-fall, an accident involving a defective product, or any other type of serious accident, you are right to be thinking about filing a claim for financial compensation. In addition to your current medical expenses and lost wages, your injuries could lead to long-term financial costs as well; and, under Florida law, you may also be entitled to additional compensation for your emotional trauma, pain and suffering, and various other forms of non-financial harm. So, are you entitled to compensation? Here is a brief overview to help you decide whether to contact a Florida personal injury law firm.
3 Ways to Recover Financial Compensation in a Florida Personal Injury Claim
1. Seeking Fault-Based Damages After an Accident in Florida
In most cases, claims for financial compensation are based on the concept of fault, or “negligence.” If you were injured in an accident and the accident was someone else’s fault, then you may be entitled to full compensation for all of the financial and non-financial losses that you have sustained (and that you will sustain in the future) as a result of your injuries. This is generally true for accidents such as:
- Slip-and-fall and trip-and-fall accidents
- Falls from heights
- Car accidents resulting in significant and permanent injuries
- Commercial truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Bicycle and pedestrian accidents
- Watercraft and boating accidents
What does it mean to be “at fault” or “negligent” in an accident? Negligence take many different forms, from texting behind the wheel to failing to repair a dangerous sidewalk. Due to the numerous ways that individuals and companies can be liable for accident-related injuries and the challenges that are often involved in proving liability (more on this below), we recommend that you contact a Florida personal injury law firm regardless of who or what you think might be to blame for your injuries.
2. Seeking Financial Compensation Based on “Strict Liability”
Were you injured by a defective product? If so, then you may not need to prove negligence in order to secure a financial recovery. In Florida and other states, product defect claims are often governed by the law of “strict liability.”
Under the law of strict liability, companies that design, manufacture, and sell defective products can be held liable without proof of negligence. This is intended to ensure that companies are held responsible for selling dangerous products – and incentivize them to take the steps necessary to avoid putting dangerous products in consumers’ hands. Unfortunately, accidents involving defective products still happen all the time. If you were injured by any of the following (or any other type of product), you should speak with a personal injury attorney about filing a claim for compensation:
- Airplane or boat (or any component)
- Car, motorcycle, SUV or truck (or any component)
- Children’s furniture, toy or playground equipment
- Construction tool or equipment
- Household product or appliance
- Landscaping tool or equipment
- Medical device or pharmaceutical
3. Seeking “No-Fault” Compensation for Injuries from Vehicle Collisions
If you were injured in a car accident in Florida, then you may be entitled to file a claim for “no-fault” compensation under your personal injury protection (PIP) policy. Most Floridians have PIP coverage of up to $10,000 for their medical expenses and lost wages. But, while this may sound like a good thing, it actually presents a number of challenges for individuals who have been seriously injured in vehicle collisions.
- Despite being “no-fault” coverage, auto insurance companies will often aggressively fight accident victims’ PIP claims.
- In order to recover compensation beyond PIP, you must be able to prove that you have suffered a “significant” or “permanent” injury.
- If you are entitled to coverage outside of PIP (either based on negligence or strict liability), this is not something that the insurance companies are going to tell you.
For these reasons, even when filing a PIP claim with your own insurance company, it is still a good idea to select an attorney at our Florida personal injury law firm to represent you.
Your Florida Personal Injury Law Firm Will Assess the Evidence to Determine if You Have a Claim
Regardless of who or what caused your injuries, in order to recover compensation, you need to be able to prove your claim for damages. This requires proof of:
- The cause of your injuries,
- The extent of your injuries, and
- The long-term effects of your injuries.
Even if you only have a no-fault PIP claim (which you should not assume until you speak with an attorney), you will still need to prove that you suffered your injuries in the accident. If you do not have evidence to prove that your injuries are accident-related, you can be almost certain that your insurance company will deny your claim for coverage.
How do you prove a claim for damages after an accident in Florida? Proving your claim requires:
- A prompt and comprehensive on-scene investigation;
- Follow-up investigation to obtain relevant records, video recordings and other evidence;
- Immediate medical attention to document your diagnosis;
- Follow-up medical treatment and medical records;
- Collection of bills and receipts; and,
- Ongoing documentation of the effects of your injuries.
Learn How to Tell if You Have a Claim from Searcy Denney Scarola, Barnhart & Shipley: A Nationally-Recognized Florida Law Firm for Personal Injury and Accident Victims
As you can see, determining if you have a claim for financial compensation after an accident is complicated. It is also hugely important, as you may need compensation in order to recover from your injuries and cope with their long-term effects. As a result, we recommend speaking with an attorney as soon as possible. The personal injury attorneys at our Florida law firm provide free initial consultations, and we do not charge anything unless we negotiate a settlement or win a verdict in court.
To discuss your claim in confidence, please call 800-780-8607 or request your free initial consultation online. We are available 24/7 and are conveniently located in West Palm .