One of the most common types of cases asserted in civil court is personal injury cases. These cases seek compensation against a negligent party who caused harm to someone else.
However, they can be complex. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help guide you through your claim and seek fair compensation for the harm you’ve suffered.
What Is the Purpose of Personal Injury Cases?
There are several different missions for different types of cases. For example, criminal cases seek to hold a person legally responsible for a crime they commit against society. Breach of contract cases may require a party to keep their word about what they voluntarily agreed to. Intellectual property cases may seek damages for the misuse of a person’s trademark rights.
Personal injury cases seek to make a victim whole again after they have suffered losses, such as physical injuries, mental health consequences, medical expenses, lost income, pain, or suffering. The law recognizes that it is limited in providing justice to victims in these situations, so it awards money to the injured party that the defendant is required to pay if the plaintiff proves their case.
Common Types of Personal Injury Cases
There are many different types of personal injury cases.
Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers handles the following types of personal injury cases:
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Truck accidents
- Uber & Lyft accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Wrongful death
If you were injured or lost a loved one in any of the accident types described above, contact a compassionate personal injury lawyer for a free consultation.
Which Legal Theories Are Raised in Personal Injury Cases?
There may be different legal theories the plaintiff alleges in a personal injury case, such as:
Negligence, by far, is the most common legal theory in personal injury cases. The elements that you must prove in a negligence case are:
A duty is a legal responsibility that someone owes to another. In some situations, the legal duty is based on the relationship between two people. For example, a doctor owes a patient the duty to act within the standard of care that other doctors in the same area would apply under the circumstances. A fiduciary duty requires a person put in a position of trust to put the principal’s interests above their own.
In other situations, people owe each other the duty to follow laws, such as obeying traffic laws when driving. All people owe a duty to others to act in a reasonable and prudent manner that avoids causing injuries to others.
Breach Of Duty
Next, you must be able to show that the defendant breached the duty. For example, another driver may have been speeding or failing to yield the right-of-way. A doctor’s care could have fallen below the standard of care. A property owner may have failed to maintain the premises.
The defendant’s breach of duty must be connected to the injuries you suffered. For example, the motorist speeding caused the accident. The store owner’s failure to periodically inspect the store and pick up hazards may have caused you to fall. Your doctor’s failure to order a test may have caused you to suffer an adverse health effect.
Finally, you must be able to prove you were injured in some way that a court could compensate you.
Potential compensation in Florida personal injury cases may include:
- Medical expenses you incurred because of the accident, including follow-up visits and future medical care
- Lost wages and lost earning potential
- Burial and funeral costs
- Costs to repair or replace your damaged personal property
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Emotional distress
- Disfigurement and/or scarring
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
A personal injury lawyer can evaluate the circumstances and explain which damages may be available in your case.
Negligence Per Se
Negligence per se occurs when someone violates a statute that was designed to protect a person in a certain type of situation, and a person was injured.
In these types of cases, you only need to show that the defendant violated the relevant statute, the statute was established to protect someone in your position, and you were injured as a result. The defendant’s actions are accepted as negligence as a matter of law.
For example, if a person was driving under the influence of alcohol and crashed into someone else, this could be negligence per se.
Strict liability cases hold the defendant liable for their actions if they injure someone else, even if they were not negligent. Strict liability may apply when an abnormally dangerous activity is involved.
It may also apply in cases involving defective products. The injured victim has a right to compensation because they were injured, and they don’t have to prove the manufacturer was negligent.
In some cases, such as physical assaults, the defendant’s conduct is knowing and intentional.
What To Do After an Accident in Florida
If you are injured in a personal injury incident, there are steps you can take to protect your health and legal claim, such as:
- Reporting the accident – Report the accident to authorities, whether it’s to law enforcement in the case of a motor vehicle accident or to the owner of the property if you slipped and fell.
- Documenting the scene – You probably won’t have much time to document the scene because it may have to be cleaned up quickly to protect other people from harm, so it’s pivotal that you try to preserve evidence. Take pictures or videos of the accident scene. Ask witnesses for their contact information so your lawyer can follow up with them later. Keep the clothes you were wearing in the accident in case they have evidence on them.
- Seeking medical attention – Do not delay in seeking medical attention. Symptoms are sometimes delayed, but prompt medical attention can ensure you minimize any secondary injuries and you receive attentive medical care. It will also help show the insurance company that you are serious about safeguarding your health.
- Keeping records – You may start receiving many documents related to your accident, such as medical records, communications from the insurance company, employment records that show how much time you missed from work, and estimates to repair your property. Keep all of these documents, as they will help with your claim.
Lastly, contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. A lawyer can preserve valuable evidence, explain your legal rights and options, and communicate with the insurance company so you can focus on your behalf.
Your lawyer’s goal is to get you as much compensation as possible. They can rely on their experience handling insurance companies to negotiate for the compensation you deserve.
Our lawyers at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers accept personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis. Contact our law firm to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced injury lawyers in Clearwater, FL.