West Palm Beach Personal Injury Lawyer
Find out the best way to handle your injury claim by consulting with an experienced and knowledgeable West Palm Beach personal injury lawyer.
A catastrophic injury can rob you of your independence, your ability to work, and the life you had prior to your accident. When someone else was at fault for what happened to you, these life-altering changes can come with a tremendous sense of injustice.
Fortunately, the civil tort system provides a way for you to seek justice for your damages and losses. When the negligence of another led to your injuries, you have the option to file a personal injury claim demanding compensation for your financial expenses and the emotional hardship of what you’ve experienced.
Getting the financial settlement that you’re entitled to won’t happen without resistance, however, as the responsible party or their insurance company won’t be eager to accept liability or pay you what you’re owed.
A West Palm Beach personal injury lawyer from the Law Offices of Casey D. Shomo can ensure that the other side takes your claim seriously and give you the best possible chance for a positive resolution to your case.
The Concept of Negligence in West Palm Beach injury Claims
To understand how to file a personal injury claim, you may first need to learn what negligence really is. Negligence is a concept that refers to another person’s liability if you’re injured because of that person’s actions or failure to act.
For example, if you are on your friend’s staircase and you fall because of an unsecured railing, you can sue the friend due to his or her negligence. How was your friend negligent? He or she failed to inform you of the property hazard and probably should have already had the railing fixed.
You can file an injury claim to obtain compensation for medical care, missed wages, and your pain and suffering, among other damages.
Not every accident involves negligence. The responsible party must be found to have contributed in some way to your accident, and you must have suffered actual damages.
Here’s another example: Let’s say you tripped down that same staircase, but you weren’t injured. You can’t file a claim simply because you could have been hurt.
It’s also difficult to file an injury claim in West Palm Beach if you never went to the doctor or hospital for your injuries. Medical evidence is usually needed to prove that you were really injured. However, even if you were partially to blame for an accident that injured you, you can still seek damages from the other party if he or she holds some responsibility.
Investigating What Caused Your Catastrophic Injury
In order to seek compensation, it will first be necessary to determine who was at fault for your accident and prove their liability. You’ll be able to maximize the amount you receive in your financial award by identifying everyone who played a role in what happened and naming them in your demand letter.
How will you investigate the cause of your accident? If you’re in a hospital or recovering from your injuries at home, it’s pretty unlikely that you’ll be able to investigate your own accident. Many different factors might have led to your accident, many different people could be responsible, and proving your case is paramount to the successful recovery of your losses.
What does investigation entail? Witnesses will have to be interviewed and subpoenaed, you’ll need to gather all evidence of your medical injury, you’ll need to keep careful records of how your injuries have affected you and your future, and you will need to find expert testimony to support your version of events.
How can you do all this while injured? It’s not easy. Even if you have the mobility to do all this, you probably don’t have the legal knowledge necessary to win. Hiring an attorney means all the investigation work will be taken care of for you so you can worry about getting over your injuries.
Here’s a list of types of evidence that could help prove your West Palm Beach injury claim:
- Video and photo evidence of your injuries and the accident scene
- Witness statements and expert testimony
- Accident and police reports
- Medical history and medical evidence of your injuries
- Records of how this accident has impacted you emotionally, physically, and financially
Your West Palm Beach personal injury lawyer will be able to conduct this investigation on your behalf, regardless of what type of accident you were hurt in.
Examples of West Palm Beach Personal Injury Claims
What kinds of accidents do people commonly file personal injury cases for? Any accident for which you can prove that another person was at least partially to blame could qualify you to file a personal injury claim.
Although almost any type of accident can warrant a personal injury claim under the right circumstances, most cases tend to involve a few common accident categories. These categories are listed below:
- Motor Vehicle Accidents – From car crashes to industrial truck accidents to motorcycle wrecks, many different parties can be at fault. This includes the other driver, a parts manufacturer, a passenger, and even a government entity that failed to properly maintain the roads.
- Medical Malpractice – If your injury or illness was caused by a negligent healthcare provider, you can—and should—hold them accountable. This includes doctors, nurses, hospitals, dentists, pharmacists, and more.
- Premises Liability – Anytime a property owner allows a hazard on the grounds to go unaddressed and visitors get injured because of it, he or she becomes financially liable for the resulting injuries. Whether it was a dog bite or a slip-and-fall, you’re justified in seeking a settlement.
- Defective Products – Companies and corporations have an unfortunate habit of prioritizing profits over consumer safety. Whether your injury was caused by defective medication or an exploding appliance, you can get compensated and prevent others from being injured at the same time.
- Nursing Home Abuse – When an elder is abused at a nursing home or caregiving facility, you can file an injury claim on behalf of your loved one. You can hold these institutions accountable for failure to keep a vulnerable adult safe.
Special Considerations in Personal Injury Cases
There are two different elements that bear special consideration: how much time you have to file and what being partially responsible will mean for your case.
To answer the first concern, Florida provides a statute of limitations of four years for personal injury claims. This might sound like a lot of time, but the sooner a West Palm Beach personal injury lawyer from our firm can begin investigating, the easier it will be to collect the necessary evidence and witness testimony to prove your claim. Additionally, if you wait to file until after four years have passed from the date of your injury, odds become very high that your case will be dismissed without being heard.
Concerning partial responsibility, Florida is more generous than many other states: As long as someone else bore some level of responsibility for the accident, you can seek compensation. Negligence will be assigned to all involved parties in percentages determined by the arguments presented.
You could be 90 percent at fault and still seek compensation, but your settlement will be reduced by this same percentage. This means that you could be awarded $100,000 but would only receive $10,000. This makes it incredibly important to have an attorney on your side who can mitigate the amount of fault you receive.
Injury Types and Compensation
Once fault has been established, your West Palm Beach personal injury lawyer will need to assess the value of your claim. The other side’s attorney or insurer is likely to make you a settlement offer at some point, but the only way to know if it’s fair is by knowing what your claim is worth ahead of time. Accepting a lowball settlement would be disastrous, as it would leave you paying out of pocket for injury-related expenses down the road.
Some injuries will have a greater impact on your finances and quality of life than others, but any serious injury can justify compensation:
Fair Compensation for Your Injury-Related Damages and Losses
You can seek a settlement to cover any financial expenses or non-economic losses caused by your catastrophic injury. By working closely with your doctor and West Palm Beach personal injury lawyer, it will be possible to arrive at an accurate assessment of what your recovery will cost, how your quality of life will be affected, and how long your injury will affect you for.
A large portion of your financial damages will consist of medical bills, but it’s important to make certain that your future expenses are accounted for, as well. Any lost wages or earning potential will also need to be included, as will property damage, therapy costs, transportation expenses, and any other loss caused by the accident that has a direct financial value.
However, your settlement won’t be comprehensive if it doesn’t also factor in how your standard of living has been affected, something represented by your non-economic damages. Pain and suffering, emotional distress, disfigurement, loss of consortium, and lost enjoyment of life are all common examples.
West Palm Beach Personal Injury FAQ
It’s inevitable that you’ll have many questions after suffering a serious injury. In this section, we’ve answered a few of the most common queries, but if you’d like more information, please contact our office to speak with a West Palm Beach personal injury lawyer.
What is loss of consortium?
Loss of consortium refers to the damage your injury or accident does to your personal relationships—especially your marriage. It includes both lost companionship and lost sexual function.
What is a deposition?
Depositions are an important part of the discovery process used to collect evidence to include in your case. When someone is deposed, he or she must answer questions while under oath. This can be used to determine what someone was doing right before the accident, for example.
What are punitive damages?
Punitive damages are awarded to punish the at-fault party for either malicious conduct or egregious negligence. For example, if a dangerous product injured you, and the manufacturer knew that the product was dangerous but chose to ignore the issue, that would be egregious negligence. As the victim of these actions, you will be the beneficiary of awarded punitive damages.
Can I bring a West Palm Beach injury claim on behalf of a child?
Yes. Parents and guardians can file injury claims on behalf of children. Children are entitled to the same damages for their injuries and losses. Other considerations will also be made, such as how their injuries will affect their growth and development. If they’ll never be able to work, for example, compensation for the future can be sought.
What’s the difference between economic and non-economic damages?
Economic damages, also called monetary damages, are all the losses you’ve suffered that were directly tied to a financial loss—for example, the medical costs from your injuries and the missed wages from time off work. Non-economic damages are damages that have to do with how this accident impacted the non-financial parts of your life.
Speak with a West Palm Beach Injury Lawyer
The Law Offices of Casey D. Shomo has extensive experience with personal injury law and can help you navigate the complicated legal process to a successful conclusion. You don’t have to let the other side dictate the terms of your settlement; instead, keep them honest by retaining the services of an experienced law firm.
Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a West Palm Beach personal injury lawyer and find out what we can do for you. Get started today by completing the form on this page or by calling 561-659-6366.