How Much Your Personal Injury Case Worth
Now I’m going to explain general concepts of the law regarding accidents There are three elements of every injury claim. It is like a three legged stool. We have to have all three parts to make a recovery. The first leg of the stool is Liability or Fault. In other words,
WHO is at fault for the accident?
In a situation where you were stopped at a red light and suddenly hit from behind Then fault is very clear. You did nothing wrong, sitting where you were supposed to be, wearing your seat belt.
But, for example, if the crash is about who ran a red light, then liability or fault may be a big issue, and one that requires lots of evidence to prove who was at fault. And the same thing can apply to a slip and fall accident, where who was at fault can be far from clear. So to establish Liability or Fault, it is critical to preserve all types of evidence, like eyewitnesses names who can tell us who was at fault, photographs of the scene, photographs of cars involved, or the floor where someone fell.
All of this is evidence that may be important to prove who was at fault for your accident. So in this part of your case, we want to identify, WHO was at fault, and WHAT they did wrong that was negligent. The second leg of the stool is Insurance, or collectability for your losses and damages. In other words, did the person who was at fault carry insurance to pay for your losses and damages?This is something that I focus on early in your case. I do a preliminary investigation and determine who may be at fault.
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Then I contact the at fault person’s insurance company and find out what the insurance policy limits are. Many times in car crashes, the other drivers don’t carry bodily injury insurance. In many cases, my clients can’t make a recovery. However some of my clients have Uninsured Motorist Insurance. And this means that even though they were in a crash with a driver who had no insurance, they can still make a recovery. AS a side note, purchasing Uninsured Motorist Insurance, Stacking Type is one of the best things you can do to protect yourself and family.
Now if you were hurt by a big company, there may be lots of insurance coverage. Finding out if there is insurance, and how much insurance there is, is going to be a very important part of your claim. The third leg of a personal injury case is — DAMAGES. What damages were caused by the accident? This is really the only part of your claim tha tis unknown at the beginning. The insurance limits are what they are.
The fault for the accident is what it is. But your damages and injuries take time to determine. In some cases, my clients are injured, but with medical care and treatment, they make a full recovery. In this situation, the damages are zero and the case is worth very little. But in contrast, some people don’t make a good recovery. They may get worse over time. They may lose their job.
They may need all types of surgery or expensive medical care. Sometimes it takes months before the doctor scan give an opinion about the injuries. And it would be reckless to settle a case before we know the extent of your damages. Under Florida’s law the damages that you are entitled to are: past Medical Bills future Medical Bills Other out of pocket expenses Payment for any past lost wages Payment for the future lost wages, or future earning capacity These types of damages are pretty easy to measure. We can just add up the numbers, and get a figure.
In addition to the economic losses Florida law says that if you have a permanent injury, you are also entitled to recover for: Pain and Suffering Disability Disfigurement Mental Anguish Loss for the capacity for the enjoyment of life Aggravation of a preexisting Condition My way of proving these less measurable injurie are with the use of before and after witnesses.
These are typically friends or family members who explain how my client lived before the crash, and how the crash has affected their life and changed how they live now. These witness often tell the story of how my client was healthy, vibrant, hard working, happy, involved in their family, involved in their community.
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But now, they can’t do as many things for themselves, and others. Their interaction with friends, family and the community may be changed, they may have become withdrawn. They may have constant or serious pain. Now they can’t enjoy many things they used to do before the accident. All of these things are important losses that Florida law says you are entitled to recover from the at fault person. This is just a quick overview of the basics of most personal injury cases. Every case is different, and that is why legal advice is important. If you have been hurt in an accident, there is a lot of information you need to protect yourself and your family.