Victims of physical and emotional injuries experience great amounts of physical, mental, and financial stress, compounded by the stresses that already come with daily life. Knowing that an injury caused by another party’s negligence or intent to harm was preventable adds an additional layer of frustration. Whether injured in a motor vehicle accident, a bicycle accident, at work, or in a public place, victims are also faced with increased medical expenses and often need to miss work because of their injury.
If you have been injured because of another person’s careless actions, you might be eligible to receive compensation for economic and non-economic losses related to your injuries. Contact a compassionate, highly experienced personal injury attorney that serves Lake City at 800-373-8000 for a free consultation to discuss the specifics of your case and determine the best path forward.
Meldon Law’s Results in Personal Injury Cases
The legal team at Meldon Law has represented hundreds of clients in personal injury cases resulting in the recovery of millions of dollars in settlements and court-awarded damages. Their experience in personal injury litigation has resulted in clients receiving six- and seven-figure settlements for car accidents, truck accidents, medical malpractice cases, and more. These are only past examples and do not guarantee results in any one case, but the personal injury attorneys at Meldon Law will fight for the best results for your individual case.
What Types of Personal Injuries Might Result in a Lawsuit?
Many scenarios might give rise to a personal injury lawsuit. Personal injury claims typically include any mental, physical, financial, and emotional injury caused by another person, a business, or a government entity acting with intent to harm or acting negligently. Some examples of the types of injuries that personal injury attorneys might handle include:
- Fractures and broken bones
- Head injuries such as traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries, some of which might result in paralysis
- Back injuries including fractured vertebrae and herniated discs
- Neck injuries including whiplash
- Birth injuries
- Burn injuries
- Slip/trip and fall injuries
- Wrongful death
Who Might Be Named as a Defendant in a Personal Injury Claim?
Liable parties in a personal injury suit may vary depending on the type of accident, the type of injury, and the location of the accident or injury. In the case of a motor vehicle, motorcycle, pedestrian, or bicycle accident in Florida, victims should first file a claim under their no-fault personal injury protection (PIP) policy required in Florida.
However, if the victim’s injury crosses the “permanent injury threshold” and involves permanent loss of a bodily function, any degree of permanent injury, scarring or disfigurement, or death, a claim for damages can be brought against the at-fault party. When these claims escalate to a lawsuit and in other personal injury cases, multiple parties might be liable. Here are some examples of those who might be defendants in a personal injury suit because their actions or failures to act caused injury or harm:
- Motor vehicle drivers who are driving carelessly and violating traffic regulations, such as driving under the influence, texting and driving, speeding, and more. (In Columbia County, home to Lake City, more than 1,527 accidents caused 1,162 injuries and 20 fatalities in one recent year, a significant increase from the previous three.)
- Corporations and businesses who don’t maintain properties, vehicles, or equipment
- Employers who ignore safety regulations or encourage their employees to ignore them, resulting in injury. (During one recent year, Florida workers recovered more than $306 million in compensation and medical bills.)
- Individuals who abuse, neglect, or sexually harass others at home or in the workplace
- Medical facilities, doctors, and other medical professionals who breach their duty of care to patients. (During the last 10 years, 321 patients recovered $1 million or more in damages from Florida medical providers.)
- Manufacturers and retailers who design defective products, market defective products, or fail to warn the public about dangerous aspects of a product
- Driving under the influence
Seeking Compensation in Florida Personal Injury Lawsuits
Under Florida law, certain personal injury claims might include punitive damages to punish liable parties for gross neglect or intentional harm along with compensatory damages to help victims recover from economic and non-economic losses related to their injury. Florida, like most other states, only awards punitive damages in severe cases that include wanton disregard for another person. Courts most often award compensatory damages that include medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
- Medical costs. Settlements and verdicts might include damages for a wide variety of medical expenses including ambulance services, emergency department visits, hospital stays, surgery, X-rays, medication, physical therapy, and more. In the event of a permanent disability, an award might also include costs of long-term health care and other future medical costs.
- Lost wages. Personal injury victims might recover damages for lost wages for time they missed from their job due to injury. Those whose injuries prohibit them from returning to work, or force them to reduce hours or change professions, might be able to claim lost earning capacity, which refers to future wages and benefits.
- Pain and suffering. Personal injury suits that involve catastrophic injuries with long recovery times, if the victim can even have a full recovery, often include damages for pain and suffering. This refers to the physical pain and suffering of an injury, but also the mental anguish that comes with the losses incurred because of the injury.
Comparative Negligence in Florida Personal Injury Lawsuits
Florida courts apply a comparative negligence rule to most personal injury cases. Exceptions include product liability cases, abuse, and sexual harassment. Comparative negligence is the idea of shared fault—meaning that in some cases a victim may hold some responsibility for the accident or resulting injury. If a Florida court finds that a victim is partially at fault for their injury, they reduce damages based on the percentage of fault assigned to the plaintiff.
Whether or not comparative negligence applies in a specific personal injury case, the defense will use several tactics to reduce the value of a claim or avoid paying damages altogether. A common tactic includes shifting the blame to the victim. The defense might argue that the victim was violating traffic regulations in a motor vehicle accident, ignored posted warnings in a slip-and-fall accident, or used a product incorrectly in a defective product case. An experienced personal injury firm will advocate aggressively in all these situations and remain prepared to seek justice for their clients.
Hire a Skilled Lake City Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you have sustained an injury because someone was acting carelessly, or intentionally tried to harm you, contact a skilled personal injury attorney as soon as possible: take legal action before Florida’s four-year statute of limitations on personal injury cases runs out. A skilled personal injury lawyer can guide you through the complex legal process, investigate the case, and represent your interests while you focus on rehabilitation.
Contact Meldon Law online or call 800-373-8000 for a free consultation with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys.
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Founder of the Meldon Law FirmEmail Jeffrey Meldon