Personal injuries can happen in a variety of situations and are one of the leading causes of death and disability in the United States. Even in relatively minor cases, damages you suffer have the potential to be severe. As a result of the reckless actions of others involved, you may be facing months of lost wages and a mountain of medical debts, in addition to permanent impairments that require ongoing medical care. In this situation, you have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit seeking compensation for your losses. As experienced Fort Myers personal injury attorneys, we answer some of the most frequently asked questions about filing this type of claim and what you can expect during the process.
When can I File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 30 million people visit hospital emergency rooms as a result of personal injuries each year. Generally attributed as ‘accidents,’ they are generally the result of the reckless and negligent actions of others. While these negligent parties may not have set out or intended to cause you harm, they can be held liable for the damages you suffer. Common situations in which a personal injury lawsuit may be filed include:
- Motor vehicle accidents, which occur as a result of another driver’s reckless actions. This includes speeding, running red lights, driving distracted, and driving under the influence.
- Pedestrian or bicyclist accidents, in which the above reckless driving behaviors are often to blame;
- Slip and fall injuries, which often occur as a result of the negligence of property owners, Wet floors, uneven walkways, cluttered aisles, poor lighting, and a lack of handrails are often to blame.
- Sports and recreational mishaps, which can often be attributed to negligence of coaches, trainers, support staff, and program administrators.
These are just a few of the ways personal injuries can occur. Whenever you suffer harm due to another’s reckless behavior, you have the right to seek compensation in a claim.
How Much is My Personal Injury Case Worth?
In some cases, the at fault party may have insurance to cover the costs related to injuries you suffer, such as in car accidents or injuries which occur on another’s property. However, dealing with insurance companies can prove challenging. It is not uncommon for them to either deny or downplay your claim.
In these situations, when insurance is unavailable, or when your injuries are severe, the best option is often to file a personal injury lawsuit. While the total amount you are entitled to will depend on the circumstances and the extent of the harm you suffered, common types of compensation available under the Florida Statutes include:
- Economic damages, which cover actual losses, such as current and future medical expenses and lost wages.
- Non-economic damages, which cover intangible losses. This includes compensation for your pain and suffering, as well as any loss of enjoyment in life or other impacts you and your family members experience as a result of your injuries.
- Punitive damages, which is an additional amount a judge may order the at-fault party to pay as a form of punishment for behavior that was particularly willful or negligent, such as driving with a high blood alcohol content (BAC) level.
To get an idea of what your personal injury lawsuit might be worth, check out our case results page.
How Long Will it Take to Resolve My Case?
In cases where the at-fault party is clearly in the wrong and wants to avoid the time and expense of going to trial, a settlement may be reached in a matter of months. In more complex cases, it can take up to a year or longer. While this may seem like a long time, it allows us to take the following actions on your behalf:
- Conduct our own thorough investigation into your accident;
- Gather evidence, which includes obtain witness statements and review any surveillance tapes from stores or traffic signals near the scene;
- Review your medical records and obtain statements from your doctor, to determine the extent of your injuries and any ongoing impacts you are likely to suffer;
- Obtain statements from you and your family members regarding the impact your injuries have had on other areas of your life;
- File the appropriate documents to initiate your case in the Lee County Civil Court;
- Schedule hearings and negotiate with other parties involved;
- Aggressively argue on your behalf before the judge or jury in your case.
You have only one chance to get the compensation you need to recover from personal injuries. Our experienced Fort Myers personal injury attorney takes the time needed to ensure you get the maximum amount in your settlement or jury award. Generally, creditors are content to wait in collecting on outstanding debts while you wait for your case to resolve.
How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?
Having an experienced Fort Myers personal injury attorney handle your case can help to prevent you from paying large amounts of out-of-pocket expenses, both now and in the years to come. At the Bernardo Law Firm, we understand that paying up front for our legal services can create difficulties for our clients. Typically, we handle these types of cases on a contingency basis. This means that you pay no attorneys fees until we get compensation for you. Legal expenses are often awarded separately by a judge in your final judgment or settlement, in addition to any other damages to which you are entitled.
Reach Out to Our Fort Myers Personal Injury Attorney Today
When personal injuries impact you or those you love, you can count on the Bernardo Law Firm to provide the trusted legal guidance and aggressive representation you need. We have a proven track record of success in handling these cases. To discuss how we can help in your particular situation, reach out and call or contact our Fort Myers personal injury attorney online today to request a consultation.