Regardless of how you initiated your claim and who you are working with to settle your claim, you can be certain of one thing: whoever is financially responsible for your accident will do anything possible to pay you as little as they can to resolve their legal obligations. In order to give yourself a solid chance of getting the amount that you actually deserve for your costs, losses, and other damages, partner with an experienced, aggressive attorney who is ready and willing to take your case.
1-800-Injured has a robust network of personal injury lawyers that we will gladly connect you with as soon as you contact us for your free initial consultation. Instead of worrying about how you will find appropriate legal representation for your case, we will take care of connecting you with a lawyer so that you can continue to focus on recovering.
Read more about personal injury law, and the importance of hiring a personal injury attorney in West Palm Beach after you have been injured.
About Personal Injury Law
Personal injury law is a specific type of civil law based on torts, which are defined as “acts or omissions that give rise to injury or harm to another and amount to a civil wrong for which courts impose liability.” In plain terms, a tort is an action (or a failure to act) that causes an injury to another person, and as a result, the person responsible owes the victim for the damages that they have suffered. In this instance, the term “damages” does not refer to actual damage done to a person or property but is a legal term that equates to the financial compensation awarded to a victim as a remedy for their injuries.
In many personal injury cases, the victim will hire an attorney who will attempt to negotiate directly with the responsible party to reach a settlement agreement without needing to file a formal complaint and go to trial for a lawsuit. During these negotiations, both sides will go through their justifications for why they believe that they should either pay or receive the amount that each is arguing for and attempt to reach common ground in order to resolve the case before going to the Florida courts.
Damages in a personal injury case are typically “compensatory” in nature, meaning that they are intended to compensate the victim for measurable losses from the accident. In certain rare cases, a judge or jury may award the victim additional damages known as “punitive” damages at the end of a trial, which are meant to punish the responsible party for their actions and to act as a deterrent for any possible future acts similar to the one in this trial. Since punitive damages are not requested or considered by the plaintiff and their legal team, your attorney will not include the possibility of such damages in their calculations for the settlement amount you deserve. Punitive damages are awarded in less than 2% off cases that go to trial, and the median award is between $40,000 and $50,000.
How Much is a Personal Injury Case Worth?
To determine how much your case is worth, you will need to work with an attorney to go through every detail of your case in order to determine what your injuries are truly worth. This is done at the same time that the claims adjuster from the insurance company is doing their own research into the accident. One of the most important reasons to hire an attorney early into your case is so that they will be able to use this time to gather information and be able to respond to the insurance company with a well-informed counter-offer.
Some of the details that your attorney will go through in order to reach an understanding of your case’s worth are explained below. They are separated into “economic” and “non-economic” damages, which each apply to a very specific type of damage that require different accounting methods to find a total for.
Economic damages are the easiest to calculate since they are intended to repay a victim for measurable losses and expenses associated with the accident. They include all medical-related expenses, such as hospital bills, surgery costs, prescriptions, copayments, and any necessary assistive devices such as crutches, wheelchairs, access ramps, and anything else directly related to the injury.
In addition to medical costs, economic damages are also used to compensate the victim for any income-related losses, such as time missed from work, decreased earning capacity, short-term or long-term disability, and any paid time off or vacation days used to cover missed work. If your injuries are such that you are unable to return to work in your former capacity, or your earning ability has been impacted whatsoever, your attorney will also include this interruption to your income in your damages.
Finally, economic damages will include any services that you may have needed to hire during your recovery that you would have otherwise performed yourself. This could include things like grocery delivery, laundry or cleaning service, or any other task that is normally your responsibility.
Non-economic damages are more complicated to calculate, and as such, are more hotly contested during settlement negotiations. Simply put, this is because of the abstract nature of the impacts that they cover, and the methods by which an experienced attorney will apply a dollar value to them. For example, how do you put a dollar amount on pain?
Non-economic damages include things like pain and suffering, diminished quality of life, depression, sadness, and the loss of your ability to pursue your interests. Since there are no set dollar amounts applied to these impacts, your attorney will employ a variety of methods in order to reach an understandable, fair, and reasonable amount for your compensatory damages.
One such method of determining the value of non-economic damages in Florida is by using a “multiplier,” which is a number along a scale that is intended to indicate the severity of the injuries. Once you and your attorney have considered all of the possible non-economic damages that you have dealt with and select a number along the scale, that number will then be applied to the total economic damages in order to determine the dollar amount. For example, a multiplier of 3x and economic damages of $50,000 will result in $150,000 in non-economic damages. This method is one of many that an experienced attorney will use to get you the money that you deserve.
Why You Need a Personal Injury Lawyer
Prioritize Your Health
As you can imagine by the bit of information provided above, working with a legal professional is a proven way to get through this otherwise complicated and overwhelming process. Emotional stress is shown to have a significant impact on recovery from physical injuries, so if you are trying to seek compensation for a catastrophic injury, the last thing that you should be doing is adding the stress of trying to navigate this complicated legal process on your own.
Fight Back With Experience
In addition to consideration for your physical health, hiring a personal injury attorney in West Palm Beach is an established way that you can get the legal support that you deserve in order to maximize your settlement amount. Whether you are dealing with an insurance company or a legal team representing the party responsible for your injuries, you can be certain that the main focus of their team is to pay you as little as possible while still settling the case. With this in mind, you can “even the playing field” by having your attorney work with theirs—aggressively.
Personal Injury Data and Statistics
One of the most common types of personal injury cases in Florida stems from car accidents, which are alarmingly common across the state. According to a report by Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there were over 400,000 car accidents in Florida in 2017, which marked an almost 2% increase from the year prior. Of these 400,000 crashes, 2,924 were fatal and resulted in 3,116 deaths. Additionally, there were a total of 254,310 injuries reported.
Car accidents are just a segment of the overall personal injury cases that are carried out each year in Florida, but these staggering numbers can give you an indication of how experienced the legal teams are who defend clients against these cases.
Why Choose 1-800-injured?
After you have been injured in an accident, you will have a lot of stress to manage as you try to come to terms with your injuries, filing insurance claims, dealing with mounting bills, missing work, and more. In addition, do you want to try to figure out which attorney will give you the help that you need in order to resolve your personal injury legal issues in Florida? 1-800-Injured takes the guesswork out of this process, and instead will connect you with one of the attorneys in our robust network of professional personal injury lawyers who are proven, experienced, and ready to take your case. Finding an agressive, proven attorney for your case is important, but this does not necessarily mean that you need to be the one doing the legwork.
Common Personal Injuries Cases
The following are just a few examples of personal injury cases. Keep in mind that the premise of a personal injury case is as follows: the defendant acted in a way that was negligent or reckless, their behavior caused an accident, and the accident caused measurable injuries that you are seeking damages for. As you can imagine, these requirements can be applied to a staggeringly-wide range of circumstances.
Whether or not your situation is listed below, contact us now to learn about how an attorney can help you today.
As mentioned above, car accidents are a common occurrence in Florida and the United States in general. While the types of injuries that someone suffers in any given accident vary depending on a variety of factors, some common injuries are things like whiplash, bruising and hematomas, bone fractures, traumatic brain injuries, and lacerations. The type of injury, as well as the severity of each injury, can vary between accidents, but also between passengers in each vehicle.
Premise Liability Cases
A premise liability case stems from a situation where the individual or group responsible for the upkeep of public, semi-public, or private area fail in their duty to maintain a safe environment for visitors, and you are injured as a result. In colder states, a very common premise liability case is a slip and fall from icy stairs and walkways, but in Florida, this type of case would more likely stem from a wet floor. Other premise liability accidents are a result of things like broken stair treads or handrails, faulty floorboards, or other maintenance or building code issues.
Florida is the most dangerous state in the United States in terms of motorcycle accidents and motorcycle fatalities, meaning that the decision to enjoy this type of transportation in the great Florida weather comes with significant risks. In 2017, 515 people were killed in motorcycle accidents, out of a total of 9,707 total accidents. In addition to the fatalities in these accidents, 7,725 injuries were reported.
Frequently Asked Questions About Personal Injury
Under no circumstances should you ever accept the first settlement offer that an insurance company makes you, at least until you consult with an attorney. The insurance company focuses on limiting the amount paid for any accident or claim, meaning that the first offer will likely avoid addressing many issues that you have encountered, and will attempt to position this offer as the most you can get for a settlement. Rarely, if ever, is this true.
As we discussed in greater detail above, determining the value of your personal injury case requires a significant amount of hands-on work with your attorney. They will go through all of the common factors in a personal injury case, as well as any unique aspects of your case that warrant compensation, in order to put together a comprehensive counter-offer.
A free initial consultation is the recommended way to figure out what options you have available for your case, in addition to even determining whether or not you have a case. During your consultation, you will be able to speak with an attorney about your accident, your injuries, and the steps that you have already taken in order to seek compensation. They will be able to give you better insight into how situations like yours are typically handled, and what you can expect going forward.