Bonita Springs personal injury lawyers at Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, are committed to helping secure compensation to those who have suffered harm due to the negligent actions of another.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports more than 30 million people seek treatment in hospital emergency rooms annually, and is the leading cause of death for most Americans. Those who file successful personal injury claims can collect compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and more.
A broad range of claims fall under the umbrella of “personal injury.” Some, like premises liability and medical malpractice, are their own subset of injury cases with their own specific set of pertaining state laws and legal precedent. Some examples of common personal injury claims in this region of Southwest Florida:
- Car Accidents
- Truck Accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Bus accidents
- Boating accidents
- Slip-and-Fall injuries
- Swimming pool accidents/drownings
- Criminal assault (intentional tort and/or premises liability)
- Dangerous or defective products injuries
- Dog bite injuries
- Construction accidents (workers’ compensation and possibly third-party claims)
- Nursing home negligence
- Golf cart accidents
In any one of these claims, one must establish negligence. As outlined in the general provisions of F.S. Ch. 768, negligence is the failure to exercise reasonable care when there was a legal responsibility to do so, resulting in harm to another. Defendants in these cases can choose to challenge your claim on several grounds, including (very generally):
- Defendant owed no duty of care to plaintiff;
- Defendant did not fail to exercise reasonable care;
- The harm alleged wasn’t caused by defendant’s negligence;
- The harm alleged isn’t as severe as plaintiff claims;
- The plaintiff was comparatively negligent (F.S. 768.81) in causing their own injuries.
Injury lawyers in Bonita Springs and throughout Florida accept personal injury and wrongful death cases on what is known as a “contingency fee basis,” (F.S. 11.047). That means they aren’t paid anything up front and aren’t paid any attorneys’ fees unless and until you win, in which case they receive a portion of it. We mention this because your injury attorney has incentive right off the bat to carefully review the facts of your case, determine if there is sufficient evidence of negligence and whether the defendant(s) might have a strong theory on which to deny liability.
There are also time limits that must be considered, called statutes of limitations. For civil cases (which is what personal injury claims are, as opposed to criminal), these are outlined in F.S. 95.11. In general for personal injury cases, you have four years from the date of your “cause of action” (usually the date of your injury) to the time you must file your claim. In wrongful death cases, you have two years from the date of death. There are a few instances wherein that deadline can be “tolled” or extended, but those are very limited. In most scenarios, you must file your claim within this window or else you forever lose the right. In some instances, the deadline may be even further shortened. For example, if your claim is against a government agency, you must first file a “notice of claim” with that agency and give them ample time to respond – and decide whether to pay it or reject it – before you can file your claim. It’s better to speak to an injury lawyer as soon as you can after the incident. That also allows us a better opportunity to gather important evidence, discuss key details with witnesses, identify all defendants (often there is more than one) and make sure there is time to preserve all potential claims.Negotiating a Florida Personal Injury Settlement
Our civil trial attorneys will never back down from taking a case to trial if that is what’s necessary to obtain our client full and fair recovery. However, it is true that most claims can be fairly resolved in advance of a trial. This occurs through a process called “settlement negotiation.” In fact, an agreement can be reached all the way up to just before a verdict is issued. However, it’s not uncommon for a settlement to be reached before you even file an injury lawsuit.
Typically, your Naples injury attorney will help you file a claim with the insurance company of the negligent defendant. If they dispute liability, you may need to press the issue with a lawsuit. In some cases, insurers will concede liability but dispute the amount or type of damages, or amount of compensation you’re seeking. A skilled injury attorney will make sure you know if a settlement offer is fair or if you should counter-offer or decline. You want an experienced attorney working with you in that process. The injury law firm representing you should have a solid handle on what is fair and reasonable given the circumstances.
If you have suffered a Bonita Springs injury, our legal team offers a free initial consultation to help you determine the viability of your claim and how best to proceed.
If you or someone you care about has been hurt, contact the Bonita Springs injury lawyers at Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured. You pay us no fees unless we win.