St Petersburg Personal Injury Lawyer
Being the victim of an accident due to someone else’s recklessness or negligence can be an overwhelmingly difficult experience, but you do not have to go through it alone. A St. Petersburg personal injury lawyer can help you navigate the complicated Florida legal system so that you may recover all the damages you are entitled to as a result of your injuries.
Having an attorney with experience in personal injury claims on your side will greatly increase your chances of obtaining the best possible outcome in your case. An attorney will be your advocate during the legal process and will assist you in preparing for trial to give you the best chance of obtaining the legal remedy to which you are entitled.
How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
When recovering from an accident or injury, obtaining legal assistance may not be your first priority. However, the sooner you contact a personal injury lawyer, the sooner you can take advantage of the legal protections that Florida law provides victims of accidents caused by another person’s actions.
An experienced personal injury attorney will ensure that you comply with all legal requirements in pursuing your claim so that you do not lose out on any available opportunities to recover for your injury and will allow you to focus on your physical and emotional recovery with the assurance that your attorney is actively pursuing all remedies available to you under Florida law.
They will also help you handle all the paperwork that must be filed in order to bring your claim, communicate with insurance companies on your behalf, and ensure that you are aware of all relevant laws affecting your case to enable you to make fully informed decisions as you negotiate any settlement offers.
Types of Cases
Our attorneys have experience in a variety of different types of personal injury cases. We can help you determine exactly what legal remedy you are entitled to if you have suffered harm as a result of someone else’s actions. The assistance of a St. Petersburg personal injury lawyer will be invaluable if you or someone you love has been the victim of any of the following types of accidents:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Catastrophic injuries
- Boat accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Premises Liability
- Medical malpractice
- Nursing home abuse
- Wrongful death
An accident resulting in a personal injury is called a tort. Tort laws affecting injury victims in St. Petersburg are found in Title XLV, Chapters 766-774, Florida Statutes. These chapters contain rules regulating actions brought for many different types of accident claims, including dog attacks, vehicular accidents, and medical malpractice.
While an experienced personal injury attorney in St. Petersburg will be able to fully explain all the laws applicable to your specific injury, it is important to be aware of the following important laws:
Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations is a law that limits the time you have in which to bring your claim. The time periods listed in the statute set deadlines after which you may not pursue legal relief. These deadlines will vary depending on your specific type of claim.
The Personal Injury Claims Process
Suffering serious injuries in an accident does not get easier after you have recovered. Depending on the specific nature and severity of the injuries you suffered, it could take several weeks or months before you could begin to feel normal again.
In some cases, recovery might even take years, if you fully recover at all. If you have sustained a paralyzing spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, or some other catastrophic injury, you might not be able to enjoy your previous lifestyle or ever work again.
Because of the rising healthcare costs, you might also be overwhelmed with costly medical bills and would need to file a claim against the at-fault party to cover your accident-associated losses and damages. However, you will have to go through the necessary steps before you receive any compensation from the at-fault party.
First, you will need an experienced St. Petersburg personal injury lawyer to figure out whether your claim is even worth pursuing. Your lawyer will investigate the facts of your case, collect all relevant evidence, and review the evidence to estimate the amount of compensation that will cover all your losses. Once your lawyer has determined that you have a solid claim, they’ll work on the necessary paperwork.
Your lawyer will send a demand to the at-fault party’s lawyer and/or insurance provider. There will be some back and forth discussions to negotiate your settlement. But insurance coverage might not be sufficient to cover all the losses you incurred. Even when the at-fault party has enough coverage, insurers typically engage in questionable negotiating tactics to get you to settle their low settlement offer.
But once you accept this low but quick offer, you won’t be able to seek more money if you require more treatments in the future because your injuries suddenly worsen. If the insurer doesn’t want to negotiate fairly or is outright denying your claim, your lawyer may recommend that you take your case to court. Your lawyer will ensure that you have a strong case against the at-fault party to secure the best possible results for your personal injury case.
Damages You Can Recover in a Florida Personal Injury Case
Damages are basically monetary awards that injured victims may obtain to compensate them for harm that another individual or entity’s negligence caused. These damages could include:
These are specific monetary losses that you incurred because of the accident and your injuries, including:
- Medical, medications, ambulance, diagnostic, therapy, and rehab costs
- Expected future medical bills
- Lost earnings from missed workdays and anticipated future lost earnings
- Property damage
- If wrongful death is involved, burial and funeral expenses
These are for subjective and less tangible costs that don’t have a specific dollar value, including:
- Pain and suffering
- Diminished quality of life
- Emotional and mental distress and anguish, including anger, depression, sleeping problems, and anxiety
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of reputation
These are intended to punish a defendant whose grossly negligent, malicious, fraudulent, violent, or intentional acts caused another’s serious injuries. In most cases, these damages might be greater than economic and non-economic damages.
How Florida’s No-Fault Auto Insurance System Will Impact Your Motor Vehicle Accident
When it comes to motor vehicle accidents, Florida follows the no-fault auto insurance rules. This means that if you have sustained injuries in a motor vehicle crash, you won’t be able to sue the other motorist, even if they caused the crash. Instead, you’ll need to seek compensation from your own auto insurer under your PIP or personal injury protection coverage.
Under Florida’s auto insurance laws, all drivers who operate a motor vehicle must maintain PIP coverage worth no less than $10,000. But this benefit doesn’t fully cover most people’s accident-related losses because medical treatment could easily exceed $10,000. Also, if your plan has a deductible, your PIP benefits will only be triggered once the deductible has been met. You also can’t recover damages for pain and suffering.
For victims who’ve been injured in a car, truck, motorcycle, bicycle, or pedestrian accident, these numbers naturally seem discouraging. Medical treatment is costly, and if you have been missing work, your PIP benefits might seem like chump change.
When You Can Sue a Negligent Driver in Florida
Fortunately, you could circumvent the Sunshine State’s no-fault auto insurance rules and file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit against the negligent motorist that injured you if you suffered very serious or catastrophic injuries.
According to Florida law, injured victims might be entitled to recover damages not only for economic losses but for pain and suffering losses as well if their injuries, disease, sickness, or illness consists of or results in:
- Permanent injury within the scope of reasonable degree or level of medical probability
- Permanent and significant disfigurement or scarring
- Permanent and significant loss of a vital bodily function
If you believe that your injuries qualify as catastrophic or serious under Florida’s no-fault insurance laws, which means that you are entitled to bring a claim outside the no-fault insurance system, you could expect the at-fault party’s insurer to dispute your claim to avoid paying you what your claim is really worth.
A skilled St. Petersburg personal injury lawyer can prove that your injuries qualify as serious injuries and ensure that you sue the at-fault party for all the damages that you deserve.
Reach Out to a Top St. Petersburg Personal Injury Lawyer Today
When you have suffered injuries in any kind of accident, having an expert and prompt legal guidance could spell the difference between receiving all the financial compensation you’re due and not getting anything at all. This is why discussing your case with an experienced St. Petersburg personal injury lawyer as quickly as possible following your accident is among the most crucial things you could do for your case.
Our St. Petersburg personal injury lawyer at Tragos, Sartes, & Tragos will assess all the facts of your claim and give you sound legal advice on how to best handle your personal injury case and recover fair compensation from the negligent party that harmed you. Call us at (727) 441-9030 or fill out our online form to schedule your free case review today.