Personal injury is the name given to the branch of tort law that covers any wrong or damage done to another in his person, property, rights, or reputation. A personal injury can happen at work, in
a traffic accident, because of a faulty product or a faulty repair, because of a mistake during medical treatment, or because you slipped and fell on a wet floor or pavement. The personal injury can
be physical or psychological but, to be considered actionable, it must occur due to the negligence or unreasonably unsafe actions of your employer, a manufacturer, your doctor, your landlord, or some
other person or organization who owes you a duty of ordinary care. Examples of personal injury law causes of action include professional malpractice, wrongful birth, wrongful death, liable, slander,
trespass, and nuisance.
When you get injured, you usually look to the other person's insurance to collect damages for your injury. If the other person does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance, you may be relying on your own insurance company to pay for your damages. Either way, dealing with an insurance adjuster can be frustrating or intimidating. That is why it is a good idea to hire a lawyer to help you communicate effectively with the insurance company.
When handling a personal injury case we conduct a thorough investigation of the circumstances of your injury, and thereafter notify the responsible parties that you are hurt and will be filing claims for your damages.
To that end it is helpful to obtain copies of:
• Police report
• Traffic tickets given to the other person
• Photos of the scene of the accident
• Names, addresses and phone numbers of any witnesses and what they saw
• Medical records and bills
• Photos of your injuries
• Wage stubs proving how much you made at the time of the accident and how much work time you missed due to your injury
• Any other documents which may help show how your injuries negatively impacted your life.
Serious negotiations with the insurance company will not be had until your injuries have stabilized enough so that your doctors can estimate what the permanent effects from said injuries will be in your life. This can sometimes take months or even years. When making a demand, we always take into account:
• The extent of your injuries and how you are likely to be affected by them in the future
• What type of medical treatment you have had and will need to have in the future and how much it will cost
• How much income you have already lost and will lose in the future
• Any and all other damages you have suffered, and will continue to suffer, as a result of the accident.
Do I have a Personal Injury Case? You have a case if the actions of another individual operating an automobile, truck, airplane, motorcycle, or other motor vehicle were careless. Careless is simply another word for negligent, which is defined as failing to do what a reasonable person would do, given a certain set of circumstances. For example, if an individual failed to stop his vehicle at a red light, as a normal person would, he could be considered negligent and responsible for damages. These can include personal injuries caused by his actions for any pain and suffering, permanent injuries, disabilities, or even death. In order for damages to be sought, an injury need not be physical. Such cases that involve being subjected to extreme emotional distress or verbal abuse may also entitle you to damages. In the case of a death within a family, surviving family members can recover damages through wrongful death laws & litigation. Although many personal injury cases only involve minor injuries, you may still be entitled to substantial monetary damages. Medical expenses, no matter how small they are, including hospital expenses, medications, personal therapy can be recovered. In addition, in cases of extreme negligence, punitive damages can be recovered to ensure that the conduct is not repeated in the future. There is an increased use of mediation as a means of resolving personal injury claims. During the past several years this process has become one of the most widely used methods of arriving at a reasonable compromise settlement in an personal injury or wrongful death claim, especially in claims that would be the most expensive and difficult to litigate to a jury verdict. When approached effectively, it ends the claim or litigation without any further costs to the client; when it fails, the injured individual proceeds to use the regular procedures of litigation and jury trial without any penalties. Additionally, mediation is an extremely cost-effective procedure that could save the injured person an enormous amount of money in litigation expenses.
What are our attorney's fees and costs in a personal injury claim?
ur clients only pay attorney's fees and costs after we reach a desirable settlement of their claim. Our office covers for all costs and expenses had during the negotiation and/or mediation and/or litigation of our client's claims. We handle all of our personal injury cases on a contingency basis, taking a percentage of the recovery at the conclusion of our client's case.
If you are injured as a result of a work-related accident, your employer's workers' compensation coverage provides medical and partial wage replacement benefits to which you may be entitled.
As soon as your carrier knows about your work-related injury, the carrier will: • Determine the compensability of your injury • Provide an authorized doctor • Pay for all authorized medically necessary care and treatment related to your injury
Authorized treatment and care may include: • Doctor's visits • Hospitalization • Physical therapy • Medical tests • Prescription drugs • Prostheses • Travel expenses to and from your authorized doctor.
Once you reach maximum medical improvement (MMI), you are required to pay a $10 co-payment per visit for medical treatment. MMI occurs when the physician treating you determines that your injury has healed to the extent that further improvement is not likely.
Wage Replacement Benefits
Your workers' compensation benefits for lost wages will start on the eighth day that you are unable to work. You will not receive wage replacement benefits for the first 7 days of work missed, unless you are out of work for more than 21 days due to your work-related injury. In most cases, the wage replacement benefits will equal two-thirds of your pre-injury regular weekly wage, but the benefit will not be higher than Florida's average weekly wage. If you qualify for wage replacement benefits, you can generally expect to receive your first benefit check within 21 days after the carrier becomes aware of the injury, and bi-weekly, thereafter. You will be eligible for different types of wage replacement benefits, depending on the progress of the claim and the severity of the injury.
• Temporary Total Benefits : These benefits are provided as a result of an injury that temporarily prevents you from returning to work, and you have not reached MMI.
• Temporary Partial Benefits : These benefits are provided when the doctor releases you to return to work and you have not reached MMI and earn less than 80% of your pre-injury wage. The benefit is equal to 80% of the difference between 80% of your pre-injury wage and your post-injury wage.
• The maximum length of time you can receive temporary benefits is 104 weeks or until the date of MMI is determined, whichever is earlier.
• Permanent Impairment Benefits: These benefits are provided when the injury causes any physical, psychological or functional loss and the impairment exists after the date of MMI. A doctor will assign a permanent impairment rating, expressed as a percentage, to the injury.
• If you return to work at or above your pre-injury wage, the permanent impairment benefit is reduced by 50%.
• Permanent Total Benefits : These benefits are provided when the injury causes you to be permanently and totally disabled according to the conditions stated in the law.
• Death Benefits: The maximum benefit is $150,000 for any death resulting from a work place accident.
• The rate, amount, and the duration of compensation for all wage replacement benefits are detailed in the workers' compensation law. If you have any questions about your benefits call your claims adjuster or the Employee Assistance Office at 1-800-342-1741.
Anti-Fraud Reward Program
Workers' compensation fraud occurs when any person knowingly and with intent to injure, defraud, or deceive any employer or employee, insurance carrier, or self-insured program files false or misleading information. Workers' compensation fraud is a third degree felony that can result in fines, civil liability, and jail time