The Importance of Hiring a Fort Lauderdale Personal Injury Lawyer
Personal injuries can occur in numerous ways and are all too common in Fort Lauderdale. When you are injured in an accident that is another person’s fault, you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries. However, recovery is not likely to be simple, nor is it guaranteed.Insurance companies may deny your claim or offer nothing but a “low ball” settlement offer. That said, if you need to take legal action, the Florida legal system is complex and often difficult for laypeople to navigate. Thus, the importance of hiring a personal injury lawyer early in the process cannot be overstated. At the Maus Law Firm, a Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer can assess your case and fight for your rights.
Types of Personal Injury Cases in Florida
Fort Lauderdale is a busy, vibrant community, with numerous visitors every year. Unfortunately, this results in the area having more than its fair share of accidents that result in personal injuries. The following are some common types of personal injuries:
- Car Accidents: Florida has one of the highest rates of car accidents, as well as accident-related injuries and deaths, in the nation.
- Slip and Fall: Under the legal doctrine of premises liability, a person who trips and falls due to a dangerous condition on another person’s property may be able to recover compensation.
- Cruise Ship Accidents: A person injured in an accident or assault while aboard a cruise ship may be able to recover damages. There may even be liability for injuries suffered while boarding, deboarding, or even while in port.
- Boating Accidents: A fun activity for Floridians and tourists, boaters need to operate watercraft with care to prevent accidents.
- Motorcycle Accidents: Motorcycles are popular in the Fort Lauderdale area, and motorcyclists face the same dangers on the road as they do elsewhere.
- Pedestrian Accidents: In addition to slip-and-falls, pedestrians must also beware of motor vehicles. Auto-pedestrian collisions are common in Fort Lauderdale.
- Uber/Lyft Accidents: Rideshare apps are widely used in Fort Lauderdale, and this brings with it a high amount of passengers being injured in accidents. These injured passengers, as well as injured pedestrians or occupants of other cars, may be able to recover compensation from the rideshare company.
- Bicycle Accidents: Bicyclists have to share the crowded Fort Lauderdale roads with cars, which inevitably results in auto-bicycle collisions.
When seeking out a Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorney, it is best to ensure that he or she has experience with your type of accident.
Establishing Fault in Florida Injury Claims
Even when an insurance company settles with an injured person before trial or even before a lawsuit is filed, this is generally done with the understanding that the injured person may be able to prove liability. However, if the insurance company denies payment or fails to offer an adequate amount, you will have no choice except to take legal action. This is why it is important to be able to establish legal fault for your personal injuries.
When a case proceeds to trial, the injured person and their attorney typically seek to prove that the defendant’s misconduct, more likely than not, caused their injuries. The legal misconduct could be negligent or reckless driving, failure to maintain safe premises or other activities. No matter the misconduct alleged, the plaintiff must generally prove the defendant fell below a reasonable standard of care.
Even if the injured person was partially at fault, they still may be able to recover damages. Florida is a comparative liability state where fault can be divided or “apportioned” between different parties. The partially at-fault plaintiff can still recover damages, but their award is reduced according to their percentage of fault. So, if the plaintiff is found to be 40 percent at fault with $100,000 in damages, their award would be reduced by 40 percent to $60,000.
A Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer can first assess your case and determine if another person could potentially be at fault. If so, your attorney can marshall the evidence and navigate the legal process to obtain just compensation for you and your family.
Recoverable Damages for Personal Injuries Under Florida Law
Under Florida law, an injured person can recover compensation for the following after an accident:
- Medical Expenses: The injured person can recover for the medical expenses resulting from their injuries. This includes past, continuing and future estimated expenses.
- Lost Wages: If the injuries cause the person to lose time from work, or otherwise lose income, the lost amount can be recovered as damages. The injured party can also recover for income lost due to reduced earning capacity. (Note: If the accident occurred at work, you’ll want to pursue a workers’ compensation claim.
- Rehabilitation Expenses: If the hurt individual requires physical therapy, occupational therapy or other rehabilitation, the associated expenses can be recovered in a lawsuit.
- Pain and Suffering: An extra element of damages is the injured victim’s pain and suffering, which generally increases for more serious injuries.
- Wrongful Death: When the accident results in death, the family and loved ones of the decedent may be able to recover for loss of financial support and companionship.
Why You Need a Fort Lauderdale Personal Injury Lawyer
You need a Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer to fulfill the following roles for you:
- Point of Contact for Insurance Companies: Your attorney can communicate with insurance companies on your behalf and negotiate any related settlements.
- Accident Investigator: Your lawyer can inspect the scene of the accident, interview witnesses, obtain police or accident reports and thoroughly investigate the accident.
- Legal Advocate: Your personal injury lawyer will be your advocate in court, guiding you through the legal process, gathering evidence for your case and standing ready to take the case to trial.
Contact an Experienced Attorney at the Maus Law Firm
If you have suffered a personal injury in South Florida, contact the Maus Law Firm today. A Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer at the firm will work hard to obtain the compensation you deserve. Complete our contact form or call us at 1-855-599-5297 for a free consultation.