When you have been injured, one of the most important things to do is focus on healing and recovery, which also means trying to reduce your stressors as much as possible. This may sound great, but the unfortunate reality after being injured in an accident is that there is a lot of paperwork that you will need to do, legal issues that you will need to handle, and serious financial impacts to your life that need addressing. These situations can be especially complicated when someone else caused your accident due to negligence or recklessness. The frustration of knowing that your injuries could have been avoided if the responsible party had taken your safety into consideration can be overwhelming. Equally overwhelming is the fact that their insurance company will immediately spring into action in an attempt to limit the amount of money that they have to pay you as much as possible.
If this sounds intimidating, it is because the reality of a personal injury is that you need and deserve competent, aggressive, and trustworthy legal help at your side every step of the way. Trying to unravel the complexities of Florida tort law, even if you are not injured, is extremely confusing, which naturally means that trying to unravel your rights while injured is never recommended.
Hire a Personal Injury Attorney in Orlando Today
When you hire an attorney to represent your personal injury case, the benefits are almost instantaneous: you immediately have someone who can provide you with counsel, ease your concerns, and give you a better understanding of what you can expect throughout this entire process. Of course, you also will have someone who can take the fight straight to the insurance company or defendant’s attorneys on your behalf.
Call Now for a Free Consultation
The award-winning team at Fasig | Brooks offers a free initial consultation for all prospective clients, where you will be able to speak directly with an attorney about your situation. We understand that the first days after an injury can be extremely taxing, and the uncertainty of what will happen next can cause serious emotional and psychological issues that we want to help you mitigate. We are here to help, and more importantly, we are here to take on the legal stresses that we want you to avoid so that you can focus on recovery.
Read more below about some of the general information about personal injuries in Florida that we will be able to get into greater detail about during your consultation and throughout the entire time we are working together. While the following is intended to help you get a better idea of what you can expect, the only way to get a true understanding of your specific situation is to contact us so that we can speak in greater detail about your unique circumstances.
What is a Personal Injury?
There are a few different ways to answer this question: fundamentally, a personal injury is an injury to a person, as opposed to property damage. However, in terms of tort law, personal injury is a legal area that empowers victims of negligence and recklessness to seek compensation from the party responsible for their injuries, or the insurance company carrying the policy that the accident is covered by.
In order for an injury to qualify for a personal injury claim for damages, there must be a few important factors present in the situation where the injuries were caused:
The Defendant Failed Their Duty of Care
In tort law, there is something known as a “duty of care” that must be first considered. This duty of care is an individual’s responsibility to act in a way that minimizes the risks of injury to those around them, whether in a personal or professional setting. For example, a driver has a duty of care to operate their vehicle responsibly by respecting traffic laws and not driving drunk. A medical professional has a duty of care to provide their patients with reasonable care that is intended to minimize any unnecessary risks.
When someone chooses to drive drunk, when a doctor fails to diagnose a serious medical issue, or when a property owner does not address a hazard on their property that could cause an injury to the visitor, there are all failures of a duty of care. As you can imagine, there are many types of duties of care which are very circumstantial.
The Failure Caused an Accident
Now that we understand what a duty of care is, we can discuss when this failure may qualify for a personal injury case. Essentially, the failure must have caused an accident or led to a dangerous outcome. For example, if a person drives home from a bar drunk, but does not cause an accident, then there are no grounds for a personal injury case, although there is an argument for a criminal case.
If a medical professional misdiagnoses an illness and a patient immediately gets a second opinion (which is ALWAYS recommended), then there is no harm, although the doctor did fail their duty to provide an accurate diagnosis. Again, there are no grounds for a personal injury case, although there may be other repercussions depending on the nature of the issue. This is the case with all failures of duty.
The Accident Caused Measurable Injuries
If a drunk driver causes an accident, then they have checked another box for being liable for personal injury damages. The next factor is whether or not the people involved in the accident were injured or not. Personal injury cases are specifically intended to compensate victims for the impacts that their injuries have on their lives, and so if there are no injuries, then there is no basis for seeking damages. However, “injuries” are not simply physical injuries, as there are many non-economic damages that a victim may also suffer following an injury.
“Measurable” in this instance simply means that there are damages that can be connected to a dollar amount, which is something that a personal injury attorney is here to help with. One of the biggest points of contention between a victim and the defendant’s insurance company is about the actual value of damages suffered, which is why it is so essential to work with experienced legal representation to make sure that your case is heard.
Examples of Personal Injury Cases
The following are just a few examples of personal injury cases, and ones that we have a history of successes with at Fasig | Brooks. One of the most important things to do when you are hiring an attorney is to make sure that they are experienced in your specific type of injury, since there are so many specifics and variables that make each situation unique. This is yet another great reason why it is so important to take advantage of a free initial consultation, where you can speak directly to a member of our team about how we can help your unique accident.
Some common personal injury cases include injuries resulting from:
Car accidents are alarmingly common across the United States, with an average of 16,000 car accidents taking place across the country on a daily basis. There are 228 million licensed drivers in the United States and more than 250 million registered vehicles, meaning that there are plenty of opportunities each day for these collisions to take place.
Filing an insurance claim after an Orlando car accident is fairly painless, but getting the money that you actually deserve is another situation entirely. Insurance companies focus on settling legal issues for as little money as possible, and your claim will be handled no differently. You will need to negotiate for the money you actually deserve.
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There are nearly 2 million semi-trucks in operation in the U.S., and around 5.6 million semi-trailers, driving a total of 140 BILLION miles each year. With these staggering numbers alone, it is no wonder that commercial drivers are held to such high standards, such as the requirement for a Commercial Driver License and a range of specific certifications in order to transport different types of cargo.
In addition to the licensing and regulatory requirements, truck drivers also carry specific types of liability insurance with limits that often exceed $1 million. The good news about these policies is that there is money available for your injuries, but the problem is that these types of claims are much more complicated than a personal injury insurance claim.
Driving a motorcycle in the sunny, warm Orlando weather can be exhilarating and enjoyable, but the unfortunate reality is that Florida is one of the most dangerous states in the country when it comes to fatal motorcycle crashes. In addition to these alarming statistics, there is the simple fact that motorcycles are less visible to other drivers than a passenger vehicle or a truck.
When a motorcycle rider is in an accident, they have very little protection when compared to a different type of vehicle, such as no frame around the vehicle, and minimal protection. Florida, controversially, allows riders over the age of 21 to operate a motorcycle without a helmet, which is an unsafe idea regardless of legality.
As with motorcycles, it is extremely dangerous to ride a bicycle anywhere in Florida. In fact, Florida is the most dangerous state in the country when it comes to fatal bicycle accidents, which can be a significant and understandable deterrent to those who want to get out for a ride.
Part of the issue with Orlando bicycle accidents is the fact that the public roadways are not designed to accommodate cyclists safely. Many cities, such as New York City, have dedicated bike lanes and other clearly marked boundaries and permitted lanes of travel for cyclists, but Orlando does not have these amenities. Taking a left across a multi-lane road on a bicycle can be dangerous, or deadly, as can simply riding on the shoulder of the main road.
While Orlando certainly has a better infrastructure for pedestrians than for cyclists, there are still many flaws in the design that leads to Orlando being ranked as the most dangerous city in the country for pedestrians. The reality is that Orlando is not designed for pedestrians, cyclists, or motorcycles; Orlando is designed for cars, and cars only.
In addition to the fact that Orlando is poorly-designed in terms of pedestrian travel, there is also not a reliable public transit system, which puts people at a serious disadvantage if they do not have a car of their own. This is why it is so important that there is an attorney that you know and can trust to help you get the legal support you deserve if you are hurt.
Since Orlando is so poorly designed for pedestrians and cyclists, it makes sense that Uber had over $1 billion of economic impact in the state of Florida between 2016 and 2017. Between Uber ridesharing and UberEats, there are many Uber drivers out on the road at any given time, either waiting for a fare, driving to pick up a fare, or transporting a fare.
If you are in an accident with an Uber driver, there are some complicated steps that you will need to go through in order to determine which insurance policy to file a claim with, how to negotiate your claim, and more. Remember that you will be going against a massive company with dedicated lawyers, so the most prudent thing to do is to hire your own Orlando personal injury attorney immediately.
Any situation that qualifies for a personal injury claim that is fatal may be pursued by certain surviving family members, beneficiaries, or estate representatives of the deceased. In addition to the general damages that a victim seeks in a personal injury case, wrongful death claims additionally include things like the emotional impact on the surviving family, as well as the loss of financial support that the deceased was responsible for.
Frequently Asked Questions
There are a variety of different questions that we will be able to go through during your iniital consultation in great detail, but the following are some of the most common questions that we get, as well as some general answers. Keep in mind that these answers are not intended to provide you with legal advice, but are meant to give you an idea of how you can expect us to reach these answers for your own case.
How Much is My Injury Claim Worth?
There are a variety of factors that go into determining the amount that you deserve for a personal injury settlement, all of which you will need to work closely with your attorney to determine. Damages in a personal injury case are divided into “economic” and “non-economic,” which each apply towards very different types of damages.
Economic damages are the damages that you incur that are purely monetary, such as impacts to your income, your medical bills, and more. Non-economic damages are more abstract, and seek compensation for the mental, emotional, and physiological impacts of an injury, such as the pain and suffering of the injury and the sadness or depression that may come with it.
Do I Need an Attorney to File an Insurance Claim?
While you do not need an attorney for any legal issue in the United States, the fact stands that it is highly beneficial to have legal support for any sort of legal issue. When you file an insurance claim, the insurance company will spring into action with their own attorneys to identify ever possible legal tool available to limit the amount that they ultimately must pay you.
When your lawyer is handling all communications, you can be confident that each step they take is done with experience and a long-term goal of getting you the money that you deserve, and not just what the insurance company hopes to pay.
Should I Settle With the Insurance Company?
The majority of personal injury cases are settled without requiring a trial, and a significant number of these claims can avoid the courts entirely. However, this does not mean that the isnurance company will make you a fair offer right from the start. Instead, you will need to undergo your own research during the claims investigation in order to calculate the money that you deserve, and then use that as a negotiation tool once the claims adjuster concludes their investigation.
The Insurance Company Made a Very Low Offer, What Can I Do About It?
Insurance companies like to position their initial offer as the ONLY offer, but this is not the case. While the claims adjuster is going through their own investigation, we will be able to go through every detail of your life, each impact of the accident, and all effects on your life in order to reach our own conclusion about the money you deserve.
Once the insurance company makes their first offer, we will initiate a series of aggressive negotiations that are intended to avoid a lawsuit, but get you the money you deserve. If we are unable to reach an agreement on a fair number, the next step will be to file a lawsuit in the Florida courts and start preparing for trial.