Immokalee personal injury cases are those in which a person has suffered harm because of an accident or intentional act by another who breached a legal duty to use reasonable care. These are civil matters, formally referred to as “torts,” that are separate and unique from criminal cases, even though the same act can be grounds for both.
Not all personal injury claims require a trial or even a lawsuit. Sometimes they can be settled out-of-court with the help of a personal injury lawyer simply by formulating a demand and having your attorney help you negotiate a fair settlement. In those scenarios where an agreement can’t be reached, litigation may be necessary.
At Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, our Immokalee personal injury lawyers have been successfully helping clients in this region of Collier County obtain full and fair compensation in many types of personal injury and wrongful death claims.Causes of Personal Injury in Immokalee
Immokalee personal injury claims can run the gamut, including (but not limited to):
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Truck accidents
- Slip-and-fall accidents
- Construction accidents
- Dog bite injuries
- Nursing home abuse/ nursing home negligence
- Work-related accidents
- Medical malpractice (including birth injuries and maternal deaths)
- Defective product injuries
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention report there are an estimated 31 million people hospitalized in emergency rooms annually due to unintentional injuries, and roughly 131,000 die as a result. In Collier County, the Florida Department of Health reports unintentional injuries are the No. 4 cause of death (behind cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease). Top causes of unintentional injury in the county are:
- Motor vehicle accidents
These incidents are almost always preventable.Theories of Liability in Florida Injury Lawsuits
Most personal injury lawsuits in Immokalee are founded on a legal principle called “negligence,” as spelled out in Chapter 768 of Florida Statutes. Basically, not every injury suffered can be grounds for a claim. What we as injury attorneys need to show in a negligence lawsuit is:
- Defendant (a motorist, a property owner, a company) owed you (plaintiff) a duty to exercise reasonable care in some capacity.
- Defendant failed to use reasonable care, either by action or omission.
- That failure to use reasonable care caused you to suffer some type of injury, illness or harm.
- The harm you suffered was substantial enough to warrant monetary compensation (also known as “damages”).
It’s important to note that Florida is a comparative fault state, which F.S. 768.18 explains to mean the fact of your own contribution of fault to an accident that caused you injury doesn’t negate your claim against someone else. However, it can be used to argue you shouldn’t be compensated for as much money as you’re asking. For example, if a jury finds you’re damages to be $100,000, but you’re also 25 percent to blame for what happened, the total amount you could be compensated is $75,000.
Another theory of liability in Immokalee personal injury lawsuits is strict liability, most often raised in cases involving dog bites (F.S. 767.04) and dangerous or defective products. In dog bite cases, as long as you were lawfully on site and not taunting the dog, the owner is responsible to pay damages and it doesn’t matter if he/she had any prior inkling the dog was vicious or might bite. Product liability cases can be argued under the theory of strict liability if it’s shown the product was unreasonably dangerous to consumers and the defect that made it so existed when it left the control of defendant (which could be anyone in the distribution chain).
A few types of Immokalee personal injury claims don’t require proof of fault. (i.e., “no fault”).
The two most common are personal injury protection auto insurance (also known as PIP) and workers’ compensation. Starting with PIP, all drivers (excluding motorcyclists) are required to buy a minimum of $10,000 in coverage that will be paid to them in a crash regardless of who caused the accident. It’s only if your injuries are quite serious that you’re allowed to step outside the no-fault system and sue the other driver. In workers’ compensation cases, benefits are provided to workers who are injured or become sick due to some aspect of their work. They aren’t required to show their employer did anything wrong. This is the exclusive remedy against one’s employer, per F.S. 440.11 (except in rare cases an employer acts with intention to harm worker). It should be noted Florida only exempts a small fraction of farmers from providing workers’ compensation to their migrant and seasonal farmworkers, who toil in one of the most dangerous industries in the state. Further, your employer may try to avoid paying workers’ compensation by saying you’re an “independent contractor.” Unlike employees, contractors aren’t entitled to benefits like minimum wage, rest breaks, overtime – and workers’ compensation. You can sometimes push back and ask a judge to review because employees are too often misclassified, and one’s actual designation is determined not by how the company labeled him, but rather by how much control a company exerts over the worker’s daily tasks.
Our injury lawyers in Immokalee can help you determine the best course of legal action to maximize your odds of full and fair recovery.
If you or someone you care about has been hurt, contact the Immokalee injury lawyers at Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured. You pay us no fees unless we win.