Hire a Personal Injury Attorney Through 1-800-Injured Today
1-800-Injured is an attorney and medical referral service. One of the most important first steps to take after any personal injury is to hire an experienced and diligent personal injury attorney, but this process can prove overwhelming for many, meaning that too many victims file insurance claims on their own and ultimately do not receive the compensation that they rightfully deserve.
Take a look below to get a better idea of how a Port St. Lucie 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?
No two accidents are alike, and the injuries after an accident are unique for a variety of reasons that even go beyond the specific damage to the victim’s body. There is no comprehensive list of situations that qualify for a personal injury claim; instead, the situation is held up against the following criteria in order to determine if a tort occurred:
- 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
Whether or not you are certain that your situation meets these criteria, and therefore qualifies you for compensation under American tort law, contact 1-800-Injured today so that you can speak with an attorney during a free initial consultation and learn exactly what your next steps can, and should, be. Taking on the stress of uncertainty—unsure of whether or not you will be able to recover from the financial impacts of your injury, how long it will take, etc.—by yourself can have a serious adverse effect on your physical recovery, so the sooner you hire an attorney, the more clearly you will be able to focus on yourself.
Determining Fault After a Personal Injury Accident in Port St. Lucie
The question of fault is central to a personal injury case because it ultimately plays a significant role in determining the amount of money that you will receive from the responsible party and/or their insurance company. Florida uses a rule known as “pure comparative fault” when assigning liability in an accident, which allows a victim to accept partial responsibility for causing the accident but is still entitled to compensation. In states where this rule does not exist, and in years past, even accepting 1% of the responsibility for an accident could invalidate a victim’s claims entirely.
With pure comparative negligence in place, a victim who is partially responsible for the accident will simply have their final settlement reduced by the percent that they are liable. For example, if you accept 10% of the blame for causing a car accident (failing to take appropriate defensive actions, admitting to driving slightly over the speed limit, etc.), and your award is $100,000, then your final payment will be reduced by 10% for a total of $90,000.
This rule is an extremely helpful tool to protect those who are impacted by a serious accident or injury, but it can also be used by the insurance company as a tool to save money. Insurance companies handle hundreds of claims each day, and by shaving off as much money as possible from each payout they can protect their financial interests, and leveraging pure comparative fault to save a percent or two is extremely common. Just remember that the difference in 1% means nothing to the insurance company, but could be the difference between you getting the medical care that you need or not.
Calculating Damages After a Personal Injury in Port St. Lucie
At the same time that the question of fault is being discussed and investigated, the equally important question of damages must be answered, which takes extensive calculations and even more extensive negotiations in order to reach a final agreement. As with fault, the insurance adjuster will spend their claims investigation looking for all possible ways to limit your settlement amount, so it is important that you are working with an attorney who will use this time to combat their intentions and clearly prove how much money you are rightfully entitled to.
Actual damages, or compensatory damages, are the types of damages that you will seek during negotiations – and during a lawsuit, if you and your attorney decide to seek a remedy through the Florida courts. These damages are divided into two distinct types, which are explained below.
Economic damages are the basis of your actual damages and seek compensation for the measurable financial impacts of your accident. These damages include things like the medical bills from your injuries, any impacts to your employment such as earning capacity, lost wages, and any paid time off or vacation days that you needed to use to cover missed work from your accident, and more.
In addition to these central damages, economic damages also allow a victim to seek repayment for services that they need to hire that they would normally have been able to perform themselves, such as driving, grocery shopping, cooking, and more. There are many other economic damages that your attorney will be able to help you identify, as well.
Economic damages are fairly straightforward to calculate, and as long as you can prove that they are directly related to the accident in question your attorney should be able to make a compelling case for them. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are abstract and difficult to calculate, meaning that they are up for negotiation and the insurance company will aggressively push back as much as possible.
Non-economic damages include things like the pain and suffering that a victim has to endure from their injuries, the emotional impacts such as trauma and fear following an accident, ongoing depression or anxieties, and more. As you can imagine, putting a dollar value on fear is a complex process and one that your attorney will need to defend and negotiate aggressively to make sure that you get the compensation you deserve, not just what the insurance company wants to pay.