Personal Injury Lawyer In Fort Myers, FL
A personal injury can change your life in a second and may lead to many expenses such as doctor visits, hospital stays, and rehabilitation. In addition, you may not be able to return to work. But you may be eligible for compensation for your injuries.
Common Types of Personal Injury Cases
Personal injury cases come in a variety of fashions. Here are possible types of personal injury cases:
- Automobile accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Boating accidents
- Slips, trips, and falls
- Dog bites
If you hire an attorney at the Law Offices of Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers, our firm can launch an investigation. Our attorneys will work to preserve the necessary evidence for your personal injury case. This may include talking to witnesses, gathering your medical records to show the extent of your injuries, a police report, and other necessary information.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim to Get Compensation for Your Injuries
Under Florida’s statute of limitations for personal injury, you have four years after an accident to file a personal injury suit. You should not wait until the time is about to expire to hire an attorney. The attorney needs time to investigate your case before filing a suit.
What You Must Prove in a Personal Injury Suit
In most personal injury cases, you must prove that the other party was negligent. To prove negligence, you must show four things:
- A party owed you a duty.
- The party did not fulfill that duty.
- The party’s action was the cause of your injuries.
- Your injuries arose from the accident.
In some cases, you are not required to prove negligence:
- In Florida, an owner is strictly liable if his or her dog bites you. You do not have to show that the dog bit someone before or that the dog had a dangerous propensity.
- You do not have to prove negligence if your case involves an “intentional tort.” For example, if someone assaults you, you can file a personal injury suit to get compensation for your injuries.
Proving Who Was at Fault in a Vehicle Crash
How can you prove a party was at fault for your injuries in a vehicle crash? As with negligence, there are many ways to prove another driver contributed to your accident. Some common offenses include:
- Something distracted the driver, whether it was the driver talking on their cell phone or texting, swaying to music, having a heated conversation with another passenger in the vehicle, or simply daydreaming.
- The driver was not operating his or her vehicle in a safe manner. The driver ran a stop sign, did not activate a turn signal, followed your vehicle too closely, or crossed into your lane.
- A defect in your car caused the accident. For example, if defective brakes caused your accident, you may be able to file a product liability suit against the manufacturer of the car or the brakes. Another example would be a tire defect.
Proving Fault in a Slip and Fall
In a slip and fall, you must prove the owner, operator, or employee knew or should have known of a hazard and failed to take action. You can take steps that may help your case:
- Let someone know about your injury.
- Get the attention of the nearest employee. Make sure the person in charge knows about your accident.
- Get any needed medical attention you need.
- Look to see what caused your fall. If you see something on the floor, a hole in the parking lot, or water in the area, take photos.
- Get the names and contact information of any witnesses.
- Do not sign anything without talking to a lawyer.
- Contact a lawyer.
Comparative Fault in a Florida Personal Injury Claim
You may be partially at fault for the accident. You may have been driving over the speed limit, or you may not have been watching where you were walking. A court can determine the percentage you were at fault for your personal injury.
In Florida, you can still recover compensation if you were partly at fault (known as comparative fault), but the amount of your recovery goes down by the percentage of your fault. It does not matter if your fault exceeds the percentage of fault of the other party.
An example would be if in a car accident it was determined you were 20 percent at fault, and the other driver was considered to be 80 percent at fault. If your expenses totaled $15,000, you would be unable to cover 20 percent, or $3,000. But you could still recover 80 percent from the other driver, or $12,000.
Compensation You May Recover for Injuries in a Personal Injury Suit
Recoverable compensation from a personal injury claim may include the following:
- Medical expenses, including costs of rehabilitation
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Punitive damages
You can file a wrongful death action If your spouse, child, or other relative dies as the result of an accident. You can recover the compensation the deceased person would have recovered. You can also get compensation for the loss of your companionship with the deceased person.
How a Lawyer Can Help
A lawyer will work with the insurance company to negotiate a reasonable settlement. The lawyer will keep you informed of what is going on with your case and work to get you a fair settlement offer. If litigation is necessary, a lawyer will also represent you in court.
If you suffered an injury in a vehicle accident, a slip and fall, or other accident a personal injury lawyer in Fort Meyers, FL, may be able to help. Call Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers at (239) 360-3029 for a free consultation.