Anyone may become the victim of a personal injury. It may happen when you are driving, riding, or crossing the street. it may happen when you are visiting a business office or private residence. Or it may happen due to defective products. All these occurrences have one thing in common: another person is responsible for your personal injuries and is liable to pay for your medical expenses and other costs you incurred as a result of the occurrence.

At VG Law Group you will always find advice and professional representation from experienced Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyers.

What Are the Elements of a Personal Injury Case?

Not all accidents can be classified as personal injuries. When you go for an initial consultation with a personal injury lawyer, they will try to determine if:

  • the responsible party had a duty of care towards you
  • the party breached the duty of care through negligence or willful intent
  • there is a direct link between the breach and the accident
  • you suffered property damage and various types of injuries as a result of the accident.

For instance, in the case of auto accidents, all drivers have a duty of care to keep the other drivers, cyclists, motorcyclists, and pedestrians safe. Speeding, DUI, drowsy driving, etc. represent a breach of this duty, resulting in a car crash. All the injuries suffered by victims, from minor bruises to traumatic brain injuries are a direct result of the accident.

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Types of Injuries Stemming from Personal Injury Cases

Let us start by saying that you have a case, even if you suffered common types of injuries, such as soft tissue injuries and bruises. However, personal injury accidents often involve serious injuries, such as:

  • Fractures
  • internal organ damages
  • neck injuries
  • spinal cord injuries
  • burns
  • disfigurement.

Many victims are also left with permanent impairment or disability, such as loss of vision, loss of limb or paralysis, as well as suffering emotional trauma.

Related: What to do after an accident?

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Personal Injury Case Types

Our law firm has handled the most frequent types of cases covered by personal injury law in Florida. We will make a quick presentation of these types of accidents and occurrences:

Car Accidents

These are the most frequent cases Fort Lauderdale's personal injury attorneys have to deal with. In most cases, accident injuries are severe, needing long-term hospitalization and even lifelong medical care for permanent injuries and disability. This results in very high medical bills lost wages and loss of future incomes, which the legal team will include in the personal injury claim.

Most motor vehicle accidents are caused by:

  • distracted drivers
  • reckless driving (speeding, tailgating)
  • driving under influence
  • poor weather conditions
  • poor road conditions
  • defective tires, brakes, and the steering mechanism.

Depending on the ultimate cause of the accident, the car manufacturer, road maintenance authorities, and other parties may also be held liable for your personal injuries.

It is important to know that Florida Statutes stipulate that the plaintiff's degree of fault for the accident does not bar them from seeking remedy (pure comparative fault principle), no matter how high it is. Thus, even if you were 80% at fault for the car crash, the other driver's insurance policy should cover 20% of your damages.

Related: How much does a personal injury lawyer charge?

Motorcycle Accidents and Bicycle Accidents

Car drivers need to be careful about other people sharing the road with them - cyclists and motorcyclists. When there is a collision between a car and a motorcycle or a bike, the consequences are disastrous in most cases. Accident victims are left with catastrophic injuries, including loss of limbs, paralysis or lifelong disability. In some cases, loss of life occurs after the accident, and personal injury lawyers are hired by surviving family members to prepare a wrongful death claim.

Pedestrian Accidents

If a negligent driver hit you while you were crossing the street, you have the right to receive fair compensation. As explained above, it does not matter if you were not at a crosswalk or you were jaywalking, you still can recover a part of the medical expenses for your severe injuries caused in the pedestrian accident.

Trucking Accidents

In the case of truck accidents, your team of lawyers will include the driver's employer on the list of liable parties. Many such accidents occur because truck drivers have very tight schedules and are forced to work beyond the legal number of hours.. Thus, a drowsy and fatigued driver is not the only person responsible for your accident and injuries, but also the company imposing these unreasonable (and illegal) working hours.

Premises Liability

When you are injured on the premises of a commercial or private property, the owner or administrator is the negligent party in this type of personal injury case. Premises liability cases include slip & fall accidents, swimming pool accidents, dog bites and any physical injuries and property damage caused by poorly maintained buildings and outdoor areas.

Construction Accidents

Construction site accidents can happen either to workers or to bystanders. Both these categories of accident victims have rights to compensation. For employees, the workers' comp should cover the hospital bills and other types of financial compensation. For by-standers, it is necessary to file an insurance claim against the company operating or owning the construction site.

In either case, you should let an aggressive injury lawyer negotiate your fair settlement with insurance companies. Their representatives are usually keen to close the case with a quick (and insufficient) settlement, or even deny your workers' comp claim.

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Dangerous Drugs and Unsafe Medical Devices

Health care products and devices should improve a person, improve their quality of life and even prolong their life. However, there are too many cases when they cause harm because of:

  • a design or manufacturing defect,
  • failure to specify warnings on the label
  • recommendation for use that is not approved by the FDA ("off-label").

In these cases, an experienced injury attorney can determine who is responsible for the negligent actions leading to your injuries:

  • the manufacturer
  • the hospital
  • your doctor
  • the pharmacist

In some cases, several persons end entities will be included in your personal injury claim (the vicarious liability principle).

Wrongful Death

If the accident victim dies, their family is entitled to prepare a claim or even open a civil lawsuit against the responsible party. Wrongful death lawyers usually recover amounts related to:

  • funeral expenses
  • loss of support and services
  • loss of companionship.

Forms of Compensation You Are Entitled to

There are several types of damages you may recover in a personal injury claim. The lawyer will look into all the losses and expenses you sustained and calculate your personal injury settlement amount. These expenses include, but are not limited to:

  • hospital bills
  • long term medical care bills
  • lost wages
  • loss of future income if you are unable to work
  • rehabilitation costs if you need to learn another trade or profession
  • costs with psychological counseling
  • other out-of-pocket costs

These are the so-called economic damages, which can be calculated quite accurately. However, there are also non-economic damages, which you are entitled to receive for:

  • loss of enjoyment of life
  • loss of consortium
  • depression, anxiety, mental anguish

Moreover, if the responsible party is found to have acted with gross negligence, you may also receive punitive damages at the end of a personal injury lawsuit.

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What Should You Do If You Suffered a Personal Injury?

The first moments after an accident are very confusing. Are you hurt badly or not? Should you call an ambulance? Should you just walk away? It is important to remember that the adrenaline rush after the impact (of any kind) will prevent you from assessing the extent of your injuries correctly. Therefore, your best option is to call 9-1-1 and request an ambulance. In case of auto accidents of any kind, you must also call the police to inspect the crash scene and prepare a report.

Next, you should hire a personal injury attorney and refrain from discussing with insurance adjusters on your own. They usually show up in an injured person's hospital room with a settlement. If you sign it, the case is closed and you cannot request any additional amounts of money.

How Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys Deal with Cases

First of all, any skilled lawyer knows that claims for medical expenses cannot be prepared in a hurry. You need to reach the point of maximum medical improvement when your doctor is confident your condition may not improve any further. At this point, the legal team can start adding up the hospital bills you have already accumulated and the foreseeable costs for your ongoing medical care, if necessary.

It is also at this moment when you can know for sure how many wages you've lost and whether you are able to return to work. Otherwise, a special amount to cover for lost future income will be included in the compensatory damages.

Getting the Facts Clear about How the Accident Occurred

One of the first things an accident attorney will do is establish the circumstances of the event that led to your personal injuries:

  • who is the responsible party
  • what proportion of fault you have, if any
  • what exactly happened.

In order to do so, the lawyer will contact the law enforcement representatives to get a copy of the police report, talk to witnesses and obtain any kind of evidence: photos, videos, surveillance camera footage, etc. These steps are necessary during negotiations with the insurance company. Their representative will attempt to minimize the extent of your injuries and attribute a higher proportion of fault to you in order to lower the maximum compensation you deserve.

Negotiate Your Settlement with the Insurance Company

Insurance adjusters know the law and interpret it in their interests. Skilled lawyers have in-depth knowledge of the law and use it to support your claim. Many arguments and counterarguments are invoked during settlement negotiations, but ultimately, the prevailing party is the one that can prove that the negligent party failed in their duty of care and is liable to compensate you for your pain and suffering.

When negotiations fail, your lawyer will announce your intention to file a personal injury lawsuit. In most cases, this will determine the insurance company to settle. Even if they want to take the case to court, you will have a team of experienced trial lawyers by your side, ready to present your case before the judge and jury.

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What You Need to Know about the Statute of Limitations

Every US state has a statute of limitations for personal injury claims. This is a period of time in which you can file a personal injury lawsuit. When this period expires, if you try to take your case to court, it will be dismissed. In the state of Florida, the statute of limitations is 2 (two) years from the date of the accident, or 2 (two) years from the victim's death for wrongful death lawsuits.

This is one of the reasons why you should make a priority out of hiring personal injury attorneys in Fort Lauderdale to evaluate your case and start negotiating on your behalf. Insurance companies will delay procedures as much as possible, up to the point when you run out of time to file a lawsuit.

Hire a Team of Aggressive Personal Injury Lawyers!

At VG Law Group, we rely on the unique combination of skills and experience of our lawyers to provide a client-focused experience in every case we accept. Our experience covers the most frequent types of personal injury cases. We understand how insurance companies act and are prepared to fight their arguments and bring evidence that demonstrates their client's liability and the justification of the maximum compensation we seek on your behalf.

Remember that we work on a contingency basis, so you do not have to worry about advance fees. You can call us to book a free consultation and, after we take your case, you can rest assured that we will only get paid when we win your settlement, out of the compensation amount.

You deserve justice and we are ready to fight for it so call us now: 1-833-HELP-365!

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