Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley PA
2139 Palm Beach Lakes Blvd.
West Palm Beach, FL 33409-6601
The Florida personal injury law firm of Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley PA represents a wide variety of clients in personal injury claims, including car accidents, construction defects, medical malpractice, SUV rollovers, and trucking accidents. Over the last 40 years, our West Palm Beach personal injury lawyers have helped countless clients throughout the country achieve justice.
If you have been injured in any type of accident, our courtroom experience, professional resources, and state-of-the-art technology can assist you in securing compensation for your losses. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation today.
HOW TOURISM AND ATTRACTIONS IMPACT THE ACCIDENT RATE IN WEST PALM BEACH
Located on the Atlantic coast in southeastern Florida, West Palm Beach is the most populous city in Palm Beach County. It is well known for its temperate climate and average annual temperature of 78 degrees. Such inviting weather welcomes scores of vacationing visitors to West Palm Beach each year to experience its pristine beaches, Gulf Stream-warmed waters, world-class golf courses, and celebrity chef-owned restaurants. Among the popular attractions in West Palm Beach are the Palm Beach Zoo, Lion Country Safari, McCarthy’s Wildlife Sanctuary, Yesteryear Village at the South Florida Fairgrounds, the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens, and the South Florida Science Museum. No matter what type of vacation you are interested in, West Palm Beach has the lodging, attractions, and activities to suit your every whim.
However, given a large number of tourists that frequent the area, coupled with the already large existing population, accidents are bound to occur. From car crashes to slip and falls, the likelihood of a local resident or tourist suffering a personal injury in the area is high. Fortunately, victims and their loved ones can turn to Searcy Denney’s West Palm Beach personal injury attorneys for help in filing a claim.
DO YOU HAVE A PERSONAL INJURY CLAIM IN WEST PALM BEACH?
Unfortunately, despite all that West Palm Beach has to offer, living or visiting here is not without its risks. Just like any other city, West Palm Beach is the site of numerous auto accidents, work-related accidents, and other serious accidents each year. If you have been seriously injured in an accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation, and the way to recover this compensation is to file a personal injury claim with the help of an experienced attorney.
“Personal injury” law governs claims for compensation arising out of accidents that are other people’s or companies’ fault. In most cases, this fault is in the form of negligence. There are many different forms of negligence, from being distracted behind the wheel to boating under the influence, and from failing to clean up a spill to failing to take adequate safety precautions on a Jobsite.
Personal injury claims can also involve accidents caused by dangerous and defective products. Virtually all products have the potential to be defective, and companies recall millions of defective products each year. When a company designs, manufactures or sells a defective product, proof of negligence is not required in order to win just compensation.
Finally, medical malpractice claims fall under the umbrella of personal injury law as well; although there are very specialized laws applying to medical negligence claims. All health care providers in West Palm Beach owe a duty of care to their patients, and when they fail to meet this duty they can – and should – be held liable. Our West Palm Beach personal injury lawyers are experienced in handling all types of claims, and we can help you recover regardless of who is responsible for your losses.
OUR LAW FIRM REPRESENTS INDIVIDUALS WHO HAVE SUFFERED SERIOUS INJURIES IN ALL TYPES OF ACCIDENTS
Any time you are injured by someone else’s negligence or a defective product, there are two steps you should try to take right away. These are: (i) seek medical treatment for your injuries, and (ii) speak with a personal injury lawyer about your legal rights.
Our injury lawyers represent people in West Palm Beach who have suffered serious injuries in all types of accidents. When you contact us about your case, we will arrange for you to speak with one of our injury lawyers in confidence as soon as possible. Your initial consultation is free, and since we handle all cases on contingency, we only get paid if we help you recover just compensation. We provide this contingency-fee representation for personal injury cases involving:
- Car Accidents
- Bicycle Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Watercraft and Boating Accidents
- Truck Accidents
- Product-Related Accidents
- Dangerous Drugs
- Unsafe Medical Devices
- Medical Malpractice
- Premises Liability
- Aviation Accidents
- Construction Accidents
- Golf Cart Accidents
- Railroad Accidents
If you, your spouse or child, or any other member of your family has been seriously injured as a result of any of the above, we strongly encourage you to speak with one of our attorneys. Our West Palm Beach office is conveniently located on Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard, and one of our attorneys will be happy to travel to you or speak with you over the phone if that is what you prefer.
Compensation for Your Injuries
Personal injury cases are intended to make an injured person “whole” by empowering the individual to get compensation for his or her injuries. The money damages typically available in these cases are meant to cover all of the financial impacts of the injury. That includes compensation for:
- Current and future hospital and medical bills
- Medication and rehabilitation expenses
- Home care bills
- Property damage (like the cost of repairing or replacing a car)
- Missed wages
- Reduction in long-term earning capacity
Although there are no caps on these economic damages, the injured person typically has to provide detailed evidence proving the full extent of their injuries and the financial impact.
In some cases, an injured person may also be able to obtain certain non-economic damages for pain, suffering, and emotional distress. That includes “loss of consortium,” or the loss of companionship, moral support, and intimacy stemming from the injuries.
For example, Florida law limits non-economic damages to $500,000 in most medical malpractice cases. The cap is lifted to $1 million in medical malpractice cases that result in death or leave a person in a vegetative state.
Additional punitive damages designed to punish particularly reckless or egregious behavior are rare in Florida personal injury cases. Still, a person seeking punitive damages must be able to show that the conduct that caused the injury was “wanton and willful,” reckless, or malicious. State law caps punitive damages at three times the amount of a compensatory damages award or $500,000, whichever is greater.
To get money damages, an injured person has to be able to prove that the person or entity responsible for the accident is legally liable. A West Palm Beach personal injury lawyer at Searcy Denney will work aggressively to build the strongest possible case and maximize your compensation.
How Much is My Case Worth?
Anyone injured in an accident should first be sure to seek medical treatment. The full extent of your injuries may not be clear until well after the accident happens. That said, it is important to be examined by a medical professional.
Once your immediate medical needs are met, you may start thinking about whether you can seek compensation for your injuries. Although some people try to navigate the legal system on their own, anyone considering taking legal action is well advised to seek the help of a seasoned West Palm Beach injury attorney.
The value of any particular personal injury case varies widely based on the unique facts of the case.
Any West Palm Beach injury lawyer at Searcy Denney will tell you that insurers typically weigh a number of factors in determining whether to settle a case or fight it in court. Those factors also play a role when determining the total amount of money damages that a person or family may be able to obtain. They include:
- Evidence of fault: The stronger the proof, the more valuable the case. You have to be able to establish not only that you were injured but that your injuries were caused by the person or entity from which you are seeking compensation. In negligence cases, that means showing that the person or entity failed to live up to a particular “duty of care” and that this caused you to be injured.
- Extent of injuries: More extensive injuries are generally eligible for more money damages because of the medical treatment they require and the impact on an injured person’s daily life and ability to earn a living.
- Medical costs: From treatment and medication to surgeries, therapy and rehabilitation, it is important to be able to detail the costs associated with your injuries.
When cases are settled, each side is often willing to give up something in order to avoid the time, cost, and uncertainty that can come with going to trial. Settlements allow an injured person to get the compensation they need without a long, drawn-out court battle.
It is ultimately an injured person’s decision whether to accept or reject a settlement. Our attorneys are ready to go to trial to ensure clients are fairly compensated whenever needed.
Suing for Wrongful Death After Losing a Loved One
There is no amount of money in the world that can bring back or replace a loved one who dies in a tragic accident. Still, Florida law gives certain family members the power to hold those responsible for an accident fully accountable and obtain financial compensation for their loved one’s death.
Wrongful death claims can be based on intentional acts, like murder or manslaughter, that cause a person’s death, as well as negligence, product liability or medical malpractice. A West Palm Beach wrongful death attorney at our firm can help you understand your rights and options after the death of a loved one.
Proving Liability in West Palm Beach Injury Claims
There are a number of different people and entities that may be liable – or may share liability – in any accident case.
Take, for example, a multi-car accident in a grocery store parking lot. A driver is often liable in car accident cases, whether it is because they were speeding, using a cell phone or simply made a mistake that led to the collision. If the driver was operating a company vehicle, his or her employer may also be on the hook for the accident.
In some situations, vehicle malfunctions may also be to blame. Faulty brakes, busted lights and malfunctioning airbags can result in an accident or make injuries worse when crashes occur.
And then there is the parking lot owner. Design defects, poor lighting, broken curbs and other hazards may be at least partially to blame for a crash.
Most car accidents and other personal injury cases in Florida are based on claims for negligence, a legal theory that makes people and entities liable when they do not live up to what courts call a “duty of care.”
Drivers, for instance, have a duty to operate their vehicles in a reasonably safe manner and to refrain from dangerous activity, like drinking and driving. When they do not meet this responsibility, they are likely to be liable for any accidents that happen as a result.
Property owners – whether they are retail store operators or single-family homeowners – also have a duty of care to people lawfully on the premises. They are generally required to keep the property in a relatively safe condition and to warn people of hazards that the owner knows about or should know about.
Establishing fault is an essential part of building a claim for money damages. A West Palm Beach personal injury attorney at Searcy Denney will gather all of the evidence necessary to show how the accident happened and who is to blame. That includes witness testimony, photo and video footage, police reports, and detailed medical records.
How a West Palm Beach Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You
Anyone who is injured in an accident in Florida has the right to seek compensation from those responsible, whether it is another person, a company or an organization. In South Florida, it is vital to have an experienced West Palm Beach personal injury attorney in your corner.
At Searcy Denney, we fully understand the pain and stress that often comes with being injured in an accident, both for the person injured and his or her family. That is particularly true in situations in which a person is injured through no fault of his or her own. Our attorneys have dedicated their careers to helping people and families move on after an accident with the monetary compensation that they deserve.
Do not just take our word for it: Our firm’s track record of success for the people that we represent speaks for itself. Our lawyers were part of a team that secured a $1 billion national settlement for people harmed by defective Stryker hip replacement devices. We also obtained a $57 million settlement over a tragic car accident for parents whose daughter was killed and sons were injured.
A West Palm Beach injury lawyer at our firm will give you a clear and honest evaluation of your case and help you understand your rights and options. We are proud to help clients navigate the legal system, standing by them every step of the way.
WHY SHOULD YOU HIRE A WEST PALM BEACH PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER?
If you have been seriously injured in an accident, why is it important that you hire a West Palm Beach personal injury lawyer to help you?
1. YOUR LOSSES COULD BE SIGNIFICANT
Many accident victims suffer substantial losses as a result of their injuries. Today, medical care is exorbitantly expensive, and your medical bills alone could cost much more than you can afford. If you are unable to work, your loss of income will make it more difficult to pay your other bills as well. On top of these (and other) financial losses, you may also be entitled to compensation for non-financial losses such as scarring, emotional trauma and post-traumatic stress.
2. YOU WILL NEED A LAWYER TO HELP YOU CALCULATE YOUR DAMAGES
Calculating your non-financial losses is not easy, and it requires a clear understanding of Florida’s personal injury laws. Additionally, in order to calculate your future losses (both financial and non-financial), you will need to work with an attorney who is experienced in helping accident victims maximize their financial recoveries.
3. YOU WILL NEED A WEST PALM BEACH PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER TO DEAL WITH THE INSURANCE COMPANIES FOR YOU
While you have the option to file an insurance claim on your own, there are a number of reasons why this is not something we recommend. For example, when you file an insurance claim, the insurance company uses a variety of tactics to deny your claim, and it will only share the information it wants you to know. If you make mistakes when dealing with the insurance companies, you could end up with far less than you deserve.
4. YOU WILL NEED AN INJURY ATTORNEY TO PREPARE YOUR CASE FOR TRIAL
Another important way that a lawyer can help with your personal injury claim is by preparing your case for trial. Even if your case does not go to trial (and most personal injury cases do not), by showing that you are prepared to go to court if necessary, your personal injury lawyer can convince the insurance companies to negotiate in good faith and offer a fair settlement.
5. YOU ONLY GET ONE CHANCE TO SECURE JUST COMPENSATION
When you have a personal injury claim, you only get one chance to secure just compensation. If you do not hire a West Palm Beach personal injury lawyer to fight for you, you will be at a severe disadvantage. If you are serious about recovering just compensation, you need an experienced attorney on your side.
INJURY LAWYERS REPRESENTING VICTIMS AND THEIR LOVED ONES
The number of car accidents in West Palm Beach has increased in recent years. In the state of Florida, more than 235,000 car accidents occur annually. In 2010, over 2,400 fatalities and 195,000 injuries resulted from these accidents. Of these accidents, 794 fatalities and over 12,000 injuries were alcohol-related. Almost 7,900 of these accidents involved pedestrians and approximately 5,000 involved bicyclists.
With a population of over 1.3 million full-time residents, as well as a substantial part-time population of snowbirds and vacationers, West Palm Beach car accidents that result in serious injuries and fatalities occur on a regular basis. In 2010, the most recent year for which data is available, over 13,000 traffic accidents occurred in Palm Beach County. Over 12,000 injuries resulted from these accidents, and about 1,100 were alcohol-related. 123 fatalities were documented.
Our personal injury lawyers know this and work diligently to fight for the rights of accident victims throughout West Palm Beach and the entire state of Florida.
CONTACT A WEST PALM BEACH PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY TODAY TO DISCUSS YOUR RIGHTS AND LEGAL OPTIONS
A West Palm Beach personal injury lawyer can assist you with any potential claims that you or a loved one have as a result of an accident caused by the negligence of another. You may be able to recover financial compensation for your losses by filing a personal injury or wrongful death claim with the help of our attorneys. Compensation for your losses may include medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits can be complex, and you only have a certain window of time in which to file such claims. Therefore, an attorney with experience and knowledge of Florida laws will be essential in helping you obtain the compensation to which you may be entitled.
Contact our Florida injury law firm today to schedule a consultation. Our West Palm Beach attorneys will review the details of your accident and determine if you have a viable case.