After you are injured in an accident that someone else caused, you may be directed to their insurance company so that you can file a claim, collect your damages, and move forward with your life. Insurance companies have a fairly simple claims process where you are assigned an adjuster, they investigate your claim and ultimately offer you a settlement. While this may sound simple, the reality is that this process is meant to weaken your claims, and the settlement is nowhere near what you are actually owed.
Hire a Personal Injury Attorney Through 1-800-Injured Today
An attorney can help you fight for what you actually deserve. Trying to find a lawyer in the days after an accident can be overwhelming though, which is why we make it easy to connect with an attorney in your area who is ready to take your case today. 1-800-Injured is an attorney and medical referral service.
Take a look below to get a better idea of how a Gainesville, FL personal injury attorney can help you get the money that you deserve, and contact us as soon as possible for a free consultation and be connected with legal representation today.
What Constitutes a Personal Injury?
There are many common causes of personal injuries, some of which are listed below, but the type of accident does not have much legal bearing on deciding whether or not a personal injury has occurred. In order to determine whether or not you have a path towards compensation under American tort law, discuss your accident with a lawyer; during your discussion, they will examine the accident to determine if the following criteria are present:
- The defendant had a “duty of care” owed to the plaintiff
- The defendant failed to uphold their duty of care
- This failure led to an accident
- The plaintiff suffered measurable injuries in the accident
As you can imagine, there is a range of situations that could meet these criteria that go beyond your standard car accident or defective product, meaning that the sooner you speak with a Gainesville FL personal injury attorney, the sooner you will be able to understand how your own experience fits into this complex legal area.
Common Causes of Personal Injuries
The following are just a few of the most common causes of personal injuries that the experienced attorneys in our referral service cover:
- Drunk Driving
- Speeding and other Reckless Driving
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Slip and Fall Accidents
- Defective Products
- Medical Malpractice
Remember, there is no specific “type” of accident for a personal injury to qualify the victim for compensatory damages, only that it must meet the aforementioned criteria in order for the legal process to be initiated. Connect with a Gainesville personal injury attorney now to get a clear legal understanding of your situation and how they can help you fight for what you deserve.
Calculating Damages After a Personal Injury in Gainesville, FL
The question of compensation is central to the personal injury process and can be extremely overwhelming for someone who does not have professional legal training or experience to take this process on by themselves, especially as they are struggling to recover from the injuries that they are seeking compensation for. In fact, stress is proven to have a significant impact on the recovery process, which is why many people simply give up after the claims investigation and just accept a low offer from the insurance company.
Actual damages in a personal injury claim are divided into two parts: economic, and non-economic. Each seeks a different type of measurable damage that a victim suffers, and while each is highly unique from the other, they are both equally important.
Economic damages are the basis of your claim and seek compensation for the measurable financial impacts of your accident. These types of damages include all medical-related costs and expenses, such as hospital bills, copayments, medications, assistive devices, physical therapy, and more. In addition to your injury-related damages, you will also be able to seek compensation for work-related impacts such as any lost wages, decreases in your earning abilities, short-term and long-term disability payments where applicable, and even job training expenses if you need to seek new employment due to your injuries.
There are a variety of other economic damages that your attorney will be able to identify and include in their calculations, as well. Essentially, any expense, debt, or cost that you and your lawyer can clearly connect to your accident should technically be allowed in your claim. If you hire a driver because your injuries keep you from being able to drive, or other services like home cleaning, cooking, laundry, and anything else that you would have otherwise been able to do yourself, these are also included.
Non-economic damages are more difficult to calculate, and since there is no simply-measurable amount to any of these abstract impacts they are much more likely to be met with resistance from the insurance company of the defendant’s legal representation. However, they are no less important. When someone is handling an insurance claim on their own, these claims are the first to go out the window, since the insurance company can push back and make the victim second-guess themselves.
These types of damages include things like the actual pain and suffering caused by your injuries, as well as the trauma that you endured during and after the accident, any depression, anxiety, or other emotional issues caused by the crash, and more. There are a variety of ways to calculate these damages, which your attorney will be able to choose from in order to present the clearest and most compelling case for why you are entitled to everything that you are requesting.
Florida Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Cases
In more than half of all personal injury cases, there is a settlement agreement before a lawsuit is ever filed, and even filing a lawsuit does not mean that you will need to go to trial. However, it is important that you act quickly after your accident so that your attorney has ample time to negotiate and decide whether or not to file a lawsuit without running into a time limit.
The Florida statute of limitations for personal injuries is generally four years (although there are rare cases where the statute can be extended), after which time the victim has no legal recourse to seek compensation from the responsible party. Four years may seem like a long time, but the first days and weeks after your accident are extremely important. Hiring an attorney as soon as possible will provide you with all of the available tools to help you get on your way with a fair settlement, but you have to act first to find the lawyer. 1-800-Injured is here to help.