Can I File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Whether you can file a lawsuit will depend upon the specific details of your accident. In general, you may have a case if:
Your injuries were caused by the negligent or reckless actions of another person or entity, such as a motor vehicle driver. Under Florida law, a person acts negligently if he or she fails to exercise reasonable care to protect others from harm. For example, if a car that was speeding and failed to stop at a stop sign hit you, the driver (or his or her insurance company) may be held liable for your injuries because he or she acted with a clear disregard for your safety.
You were a victim of medical malpractice. A doctor, nurse or healthcare professional commits malpractice when he or she provides medical care that does not adhere to the medical community’s accepted standards of care. These standards are in place to ensure that patients receive appropriate treatment. For example, assume your doctor failed to correctly diagnosis heart disease and you suffered a heart attack. Your doctor may have committed medical malpractice if a reasonably prudent doctor would have ordered tests that could have detected your medical condition and alerted him or her to prescribe appropriate treatment.
A company sold a defective product or failed to warn you of the side effects of a prescription drug. Companies that manufacture consumer products, medical devices and prescription drugs have a duty to ensure their products are safe. Furthermore, these companies must warn customers of any known risks or side effects associated with the products they sell. Therefore, if you have been hurt by a defective product or prescription drug, our attorneys may be able to file a lawsuit on your behalf. Your suit may allege that the company sold a defective product and should be held liable for the injuries you suffered.
What Happens in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
If you’ve been hurt in an accident, the attorneys in our Lakeland office may be able to sue the person or entity responsible for your injuries. To help prove your injuries were caused by the negligent or reckless actions of another, we will collect and evaluate all available evidence in your case. This may include interviewing witnesses, obtaining your medical records and reviewing Lakeland police and accident reports.
To help recover compensation for your damages, we may draft a document called a complaint and file it in court. A complaint is a legal document that initiates a lawsuit and describes the facts and circumstances of the accident. It will also state the losses (i.e. medical bills, lost wages) you’ve suffered and who should be held liable.
Usually in personal injury lawsuits, the perpetrator’s insurance company may attempt to prevent the case from going to trial by offering a settlement. If you receive a settlement offer from an insurance company, your personal injury attorney will evaluate the terms of the offer and may negotiate with the insurance company to help you receive the compensation you need to move on from the incident.
If the insurance company fails to provide you with proper compensation through negotiations, your attorney will take the next step and bring your case to trial. At trial, he or she will have to prove to a judge or jury that your injuries were caused by the negligence of another and that you require compensation to heal. During trial, your attorney may also interview witnesses and cross-examine the defendant’s or the insurance company’s witnesses.
What Can I Recover in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
The amount and type of damages you can recover in a personal injury lawsuit will depend on the specifics of your case. In a personal injury lawsuit, a court may award damages to compensate you for the losses caused by the accident. The purpose of damages is to restore you as best as possible to the position you were in before the accident occurred. In many lawsuits, the insurance company for the person who caused the accident is responsible for paying financial damages.
By filing a personal injury lawsuit, you may be able to recover compensation for:
- Medical Expenses: Our Lakeland personal injury attorneys may be able to help you obtain compensation for all medical expenses you have incurred, or will incur in the future, as a result of the accident. We work with the top medical experts in Florida who can help us evaluate your injuries and, if necessary, explain to the judge or jury the future medical treatment you will need to fully recover. Personal injury victims are eligible to receive compensation for hospital bills, doctors’ visits, prescription drugs, rehabilitation expenses and the cost of in-home health aides.
- Lost Wages or Income: If you were unable to work and earn money after the incident, you may be able to recover the value of your lost wages or income. In addition, if can’t perform the required functions of your job because of your injuries, you may be able to receive compensation to combat your reduced earning capacity.
- Pain and Suffering: You may be able to recover compensation for any physical pain and emotional suffering you experience after the accident.
- Punitive Damages: If a personal injury lawsuit involves the reckless behavior or the intentional disregard of the safety of others, you may be eligible to receive punitive damages. Punitive damages are large sums of money awarded to personal injury victims to emphasize that the acts that injured them should never happen again.
How Much Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Cost?
Our attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means that we only receive a fee if we are successful in recovering compensation for your injuries. We do not charge any upfront fees, but instead receive a percentage of any funds we are able to recover on your behalf.
To learn about how Morgan & Morgan’s Lakeland personal injury attorneys may be able to help you, complete our free case review form.