We have all heard the expression that “accidents happen.” And it is true that some accidents do happen. But sometimes these accidents are due to the reckless, careless, and otherwise negligent conduct of another person, business, or government agency. Sometimes these accidents are also avoidable and preventable. This means that you may suffer needless harm and personal injuries from an accident that never should have happened. Unfortunately, many times these negligent accidents also cause serious or catastrophic personal injuries. The worst part is that many Floridians do not even realize that they have been victims of someone else’s negligence. Sometimes victims even blame themselves for their injuries. But this is exactly why you need to hire a Tampa Bay personal injury lawyer to review what happened and to advise you of your rights.
Many times the catastrophic injuries that a victim suffered were due to negligent accidents. For instance, according to research from the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistics Center the leading causes of spinal cord injuries are motor vehicle accidents (38%) and falls (30.5%). The other top causes of SCIs were due to violence (intentional harm known as a “tort”), sports accidents (can include due to negligence), and medical or surgical mistakes (medical malpractice). It is similarly true for traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), as the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that falls accounted for 48% of all emergency department visits and the first and second leading causes of all TBI-related hospitalizations were falls and motor vehicle accidents. The CDC also reports that another common cause of TBIs are being struck by an object or crushed between an object, which is also a common workplace or construction site accident.
Unfortunately, many of the victims injured in these types of accidents may not realize that they have rights under Florida law to recover compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages from an accident. This inequitably leaves victims and their families with the burden of both physical and emotional harm, while saddled with crushing financial damages. Do not let this happen to you. Learn when it is important to seek the advice of a personal injury lawyer.
Signs When to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer in Florida
There are many common signs and indications why an individual should seek a lawyer to review a case. Generally, anytime you have suffered any type of physical, emotional, or financial injury due to another’s conduct or while on the property of another, you may have a case. This includes even if you think it was partially your fault.
Some common examples of when to consult with a Tampa Bay personal injury lawyer include the following:
Motor Vehicle Accidents in Florida
Anytime you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident, trucking wreck, motorcycle collision, hit by a car as a pedestrian or bicyclist, or otherwise injured in a motor vehicle accident, you may be entitled to compensation. This is true even in single-car accidents if you were forced off the road to avoid another vehicle that swung into your lane but did not hit you. In some instances, a municipality such as a town, county, or the State may be liable to you in a single-car accident due to negligent maintenance of the roadway, poor roadway design, or other errors. This is particularly true for motorcyclists and bituminous crack fillers or sealers which can become soft or tacky in the Florida sun and cause a motorcyclist to lose balance and crash.
Slip and Fall or Trip and Fall Accidents
Premises liability cases are accidents that occur due to the use or occupation of land. The most common types of premises liability cases are slip and falls or trip and falls. These cases are different because the mechanism of injury is different, meaning that there could be different injuries and a need for a different type of expert to support your claim.
Slip and Fall – A slip and fall is when a person loses balance by stepping onto a slippery surface. The slippery surface could be a spilled product in a store, tracked in rainwater, or excessive wax or soap on a floor. Common injuries include bi- and trimalleolar fractures, torn meniscus, or torn knee ligaments such as ACL, MCL, PCL, or LCL.
Trip and Fall – A trip and fall is when a person’s foot is caused to get stuck, twist, or otherwise strike an unexpected object that causes a person to lose balance and fall. This type of injury can be caused by debris in a store floor, broken curbs, or a hole in the ground. Unique trip and fall injuries could include spiral fractures which are caused when a person’s leg muscles are internally pulling one way (to walk) and an external force is pulling another way (gravity falling in the opposite direction). These are very serious and painful injuries.
Some of the most damaging types of personal injury accidents are construction accidents. The CDC report affirms this, as the second most common cause for TBI hospital visits were due to falling objects or being crushed—both common construction site accidents. Other common causes of injury include falling from a height, explosions, burns, chemical exposure, electrocution, vehicle accidents, and other reckless causes.
Any injury that occurs at a place of employment or due to employment could result in liability. Generally, workers compensation insurance will cover these types of injury claims. However, there are some instances where a victim suffering personal injuries at work may be entitled to recover compensation against a third-party that caused those injuries or against an employer who failed to have workers compensation when he or she was required by Florida law.
Dog Bites and Animal Attacks
One of the most painful and damaging injuries are caused by dog bites and animal attacks. This is especially true if an infection occurs, which is very common in these types of injuries. While some states require prior knowledge of a dog’s propensity to bite or harm another, Florida is a “strict liability” state when it comes to dog bites. This means that the owner of a dog is usually automatically liable if his or her animal attacks or bites another person. However, there are some common defenses that insurance adjusters will use to try to prevent a victim from recovering compensation. Always ask a Tampa Bay personal injury lawyer for help with a dog bite case.
Medical Malpractice and Birth Injuries
While a healthcare provider cannot guarantee a particular result, a healthcare provider must provide the appropriate standard of care that a reasonably prudent healthcare provider with similar training, education, and in the related field would have in similar circumstances This means that an OB/GYN must provide the same level of care and treatment that another OB/GYN would have in similar instances, or a nurse must provide the same level of care that another nurse in a similar specialty would have. Any type of healthcare provider could be liable for medical malpractice, including doctors, nurses, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, CRNAs, dentists, hygienists, and in some instances medical students, residents, internists, and other technicians. Any time a patient’s result does not come out as expected, it could be due to healthcare negligence.
Other Types of Personal Injury Cases
In addition to the specific types above, there are many other types of negligent cases that could allow a victim to recover compensation including the following:
- Swimming pool accidents
- Falls on stairs
- Negligent security at a hotel or lodging room
- Watercraft accidents
- Intentional assaults
- Sexual offenses and crimes against a person
- Cruise ship accidents
- Fire and burn injuries
- Nursing home negligence including pressure sores, ulcers, or other damages
- Prescription medication errors and mishaps
- Negligent security at a bar
- Roadway design errors
- Improper construction or architectural/engineering negligence
- Drownings, and
- Any other types of incidents that cause another harm including wrongful death.
You Can Recover Damages if You Were Partially At Fault
Even if you believe that you may have caused your own personal injuries, you may still recover compensation. Florida is a “comparative fault” state, which means that the fault of a victim will be assessed against the overall liability of a defendant and the victim’s share will be proportionally reduced. For example, if a victim is awarded $100,000 but is 10% at fault for causing the accident, the victim’s award will likely be reduced to $90,000.
Call Our Tampa Bay Personal Injury Lawyers for a FREE Consultation
Unfortunately, many people are resistant to the idea of seeking legal advice because of a preconceived notation that lawyers are expensive. While that can be true, our Tampa Bay personal injury lawyers offer FREE case reviews to help explain what rights that a victim may have under Florida law. This means that seeing a lawyer at Dumas & Sanclemente Law is free to you to learn whether you may have rights to compensation for your injuries. If we accept your case, we also only receive a percentage of what we recover for you in a settlement or court award. This means that there is no fee if we do not win your case, and you will not have out-of-pocket expenses as we only take a percentage of what we recover for you plus. To schedule your FREE consultation, call (844) 400-2667 to learn how we can help you and your family recover compensation for pain and suffering, lost wages, medical bills, and other damages due to another’s negligence. You can also contact us through our convenient and easy-to-use message box at the bottom of our contact us page available here.