Kenneth City Personal Injury Attorneys – Jones Law Group
What is Personal Injury?
Personal injury is defined as an injury that occurs to a person’s body, mind, or emotions as the result of another person’s negligence, carelessness, or intentional act. Injuries from personal injury accidents don’t need to be severe to file a lawsuit. Even minor injuries can affect someone’s life enough to want to file a lawsuit.
Medical debt, pain and suffering, and lost wages are some of the most common reasons people decide to file lawsuits, but most people would like justice as well. If you’ve been injured in a personal injury accident, please contact one of our talented attorneys for a free consultation.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that there were 173,040 unintentional injury deaths in 2019. Falls accounted for 39,433 of these deaths, and motor vehicle accidents accounted for 37,595 of them. Unintentional deaths were the 3rd most common cause of death in the United States in 2019.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Motor vehicle accidents, such as commercial truck accidents, passenger vehicle accidents, bicycle, pedestrian, and motorcycle accidents, are all too common in the United States. Chances are, everyone will be involved in some kind of car accident at least once in their lifetime—minor or not.
Jones Law Group handles all types of motor vehicle accidents and can help you get the compensation that you deserve for damages associated with your injuries. Motor vehicle accidents most commonly inflict injuries such as traumatic brain injury (TBI), spinal cord injuries, whiplash, broken bones, amputation or crush injuries, burns, and road rash (most common with motorcycle accidents).
Florida, a state known for its unsafe drivers had 2,915 fatal motor vehicle crashes resulting in 3,133 deaths in 2018. That’s 14.7 deaths per 100,000 people, just above the national average of 11.2 deaths per 100,000 people. When breaking down the 3,133 fatalities because of motor vehicle crashes:
- 1,009 were car occupants,
- 562 were SUV or pickup truck occupants,
- 42 were large truck occupants,
- 574 were motorcyclists,
- 704 were pedestrians,
- and 160 were bicyclists.
Slip and Falls
Slip and fall accidents occur most commonly in workplaces, like construction sites, restaurants, and more, or on private property, such as grocery stores, fast food chains, apartment complexes, or any other businesses. They can also occur in your own home or the home of a friend.
In 2016, 48,060 people fell in the workplace and were injured badly enough that they required time off from work. Workplace slip and falls causes include wet surfaces, cluttered work areas, improper training, and employer negligence.
Slip and falls on commercial property, such as grocery stores, restaurants, and other businesses most often occur for the same reasons, wet floors, messes, and spills. Parking lot hazards are another reason people are injured on private property. Parking lots must be well-maintained to prevent accidents from occurring. This means filling any potholes, using reflective paint on potential dangers, and having adequate lighting.
If you were to fall in your apartment complex or your own home, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the owner of the apartment building or your landlord. If the injury occurred in your own home because of a danger you weren’t alerted about before moving in or because of danger that you reported and was never fixed, your landlord could be negligent.
The same is true if a fall were to occur at a friend’s house. If they don’t alert you about a potential hazard on their property, such as a broken stair, they may be negligent for any injuries that you sustain because of the hazard in their home.
Catastrophic injuries are those that greatly affect one’s life. Most commonly these injuries are either traumatic brain injuries or spinal cord injuries. A catastrophic injury has a great impact on the victim’s life in two ways.
One, injuries like traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury require a lot of treatment, which can add up. Large medical debt is incredibly stressful, especially medical debt that continues to pile up, as catastrophic injuries often require lifelong or ongoing care. Two, they can cause serious side effects like coma, vegetative state, paralysis, and death. Paralysis and other permanent disabilities can greatly change a person’s life.
After suffering from a catastrophic injury, victims may develop depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Victims of catastrophic injuries often receive higher pain and suffering compensation, as these injuries greatly change their quality of life.
Timeline of a Personal Injury Case
The timeline of your personal injury case starts when your accident occurs. In Florida, the Statute of Limitations states that you have four years from the date of the accident to file your case. At the scene of the accident, you should gather evidence if you can, such as pictures of your injury, and the scene.
For example, in a motor vehicle accident, you would take pictures of the vehicles involved, and in a slip and fall accident, you would take pictures of the hazard that caused your fall. You should also gather the contact information of any witnesses, as well as the at-fault party’s contact and insurance information.
Initial Medical Treatment
Right after the accident occurs you should seek medical treatment, even if you don’t believe that you are injured. Some injuries may be masked by the adrenaline of the accident. Make sure to tell your doctor, or the emergency room, that you’ve been involved in an accident so they can make note of it in your records.
Make sure that you continue to follow your doctor’s orders, including following up with specialists, meeting with physical therapists, and anything else that they deem necessary. If you don’t take your recovery seriously, the insurance company may doubt how severe your injuries are.
Hire a Kenneth City Personal Injury Attorney
Before speaking with the at-fault party’s insurance company, you should speak with an attorney to see if you have a case against them. Insurance companies will try to get you to sign a disclosure or give a statement in exchange for quick cash. You mustn’t do this, as you could damage your case before it even begins.
When hiring an attorney, you should look for someone who has experience working on the same type of case as yours. Look at their track record and ask questions during your free initial consultation to ensure that they’re a good fit for you and your case.
When you first meet with your attorney after hiring them, they’ll thoroughly interview you. They’ll ask you questions about the accident and how it happened, information about your background, and any medical conditions or injuries you had before the accident. They’ll also ask you about the injuries you received as a result of the accident. You should be as honest with your attorney as possible, they’re there to help you.
After the initial interview, your attorney will collect your medical records and bills. Depending on your treatment, this may take a while. If your injury hasn’t healed or will be lifelong, you may have to wait or have your doctor fill out a document stating the status of your condition and how it will affect you further in the future. Make sure that you tell your attorney every doctor that you’ve seen for your injuries so that they can ensure that they have your complete medical record.
Demand Settlement or File a Claim
Many cases are settled before they reach court, so the following processes often aren’t necessary. In car accident cases, a claim is filed with the insurance company before the settlement is demanded, in other types of cases, the claim is filed after if a settlement is not reached.
Your attorney will reach out with the first settlement demand, and negotiations will begin from there. The insurance adjuster will be in charge of offering a settlement on behalf of the insurance company. Insurance companies want to settle for as little as possible, but a good attorney can push that settlement higher.
If the settlement offer is too low, or you have a high chance of winning your case in trial, the personal injury process will proceed. During discovery, both sides have the chance to get more information about the case. The Florida Supreme Court requires that parties serve interrogatories for motor vehicle accidents. These interrogatories provide the other party with biographical information and information about the accident.
During this time, documents may also be procured by either side, including medical information, police reports, and more. A deposition is also common during this time. During a deposition, you (or witnesses) will be required to give testimony under oath in front of the court reporter. Your attorney can help you prepare for a deposition. Experts in your case (on either side), such as an accident reconstructionist or medical professional) can also be deposed at this time.
Mediation doesn't always occur, but when it does it gives both sides the last chance to negotiate a settlement offer. A lot of personal injury cases are settled during this period, as both parties often want to avoid taking the case to trial.
If mediation fails, your case will be taken to trial where your attorney will argue your side, providing evidence and questioning witnesses and experts. The opposing side will do the same thing, and then the judge and jury will determine the outcome. If you win, the judge will determine just how much compensation you should receive.
How Much is my Personal Injury Case Worth?
The value of your personal injury case is based on many different factors, such as the severity of your injuries, the total amount of damages you have, how much insurance the at-fault party has, and how much your injury has affected your life.
You can claim both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include medical expenses and lost wages, losses with a monetary value associated with them. Non-economic damages include pain and suffering, loss of earning capacity, loss of consortium, and any compensation for permanent disability or disfigurement. Non-economic damages are calculated based on looking at how much your life has changed because of the accident the injuries that followed.
Do I Need to Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?
If you or someone you love has been injured in a personal injury accident, please contact our talented attorneys here at Jones Law Group. We have years of experience working on personal injury cases, and we’re ready to take on yours. We’ll take the weight off of your shoulders while you focus on resting and recovering. For more information please contact us online using our chat box option or by calling us at 727-571-1333.