What is Personal Injury?
A Personal Injury is an injury to the body, mind or emotion. A Personal Injury case arises when you are injured and someone or something is legally responsible for the harm caused to you. If you believe you have a Personal Injury case, you should obtain an attorney to maximize the value of your claim and you have the right to file a lawsuit through the civil court system. Most Personal injury cases do not go to trial; it is important to hire a Personal injury attorney who is prepared to go to trial but is focused on obtaining a well-negotiated settlement. If an accident has impacted your life — and someone else is liable for that injury — then you may be entitled to compensation. The most common Personal Injury cases consist of auto accidents, slip and fall injuries, product defect claims and medical malpractice.
In Florida, the most common Personal Injury cases arise out an automobile accident. That being said, slipping on a banana peel in a grocery store could result in a Personal Injury case. A doctor leaving a sponge inside a person’s body during a surgery could result in a Personal Injury case. Taking the prescription drug while pregnant which leads to a birth defect could result in a Personal Injury case.
Personal Injuries do not last forever, there is a time frame in which you can file the lawsuit, or it expires.This is known as the Statute of Limitations. The Statute of Limitations generally begins when the plaintiff (you, the injured party) is injured or discovers the injury. In Florida, the Statute of Limitations is four years from the date of the accident to file the lawsuit for most personal injury cases. Areas like medical malpractice have its’ own set of guidelines governing the Statute of Limitations and filing.
All Personal Injury cases begin with a claim which notifies the at fault party and any indemnifying parties (I.E. Insurance Company) of the incident. If your attorney exhausts the possibility of settlement a lawsuit will be filed and you become the plaintiff and the person or entity who you are claiming injured you becomes the defendant. In most cases, each side has an attorney and both parties begin gathering facts through a process known as discovery. At the end of the discovery phase, the case will either be settled between the two parties or proceed to trial.
Settling a case means that the plaintiff (you) will accept a certain amount of money to release the action against the defendant (the person who injured you). This is done by the signing of a release which dissolves any prior liability attached to the defendant.Your attorney will be there to help guide you on whether your lawsuit will be successful, and whether the any offers to settle are acceptable.
Every potential Personal Injury case requires a detailed understanding of the facts, the processes, and state law. At Quattrochi and Torres we are dedicated to Civil Litigation and the majority of our civil cases are Personal Injury cases. This is not true of all attorneys in Florida. In fact, many attorneys are tempted by the potential for monetary compensation resulting from a Personal Injury case but have very little Personal Injury experience. Choose an attorney who is familiar with Personal Injury and Civil Litigation and is comfortable in the presence of a Judge.
If your case goes to trial and you win your case, a judge will award you money (known as damages) for your injuries. The amount typically consists of compensation for past expenses such as medical bills and lost wages, and often compensation for future wage losses. In certain cases, you will also be compensated for physical pain and suffering, both past and future.Additionally, you may receive additional damages if a permanent disability occurred as a result of the accident.
If you or someone you know have been injured and feel that someone else is legally responsible, please contact us today so that we can put our experience to work and maximize the value of your claim.