Florida Personal Injury Guide

Florida Personal Injury GuideThe Florida Personal Injury Guide was created by Paul Boone Law to help residents who have been injured in an accident obtain maximum compensation for their claim.

Types of Personal Injury Cases Our Lawyer Handles

The term “personal injury” is one that covers a lot of ground. When you are hurt in any of the following incidences, you could be eligible to bring a claim if your Jacksonville personal injury lawyer can prove that there was a liable party responsible for the harm you suffered. Incidents that can lead to personal injuries include: 

  • Car accidents
  • Truck accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Bicycle accidents
  • Nursing home abuse
  • TBI
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Negligence security
  • Slip and falls
  • Construction accidents
  • Wrongful deaths
  • Defective medical products
  • Medical malpractice
  • Insurance bad faith

There are four parties involved in any given personal injury case. The first party involved is you, the plaintiff, who is entitled to justice for the damages they suffered. The second party involved is the liable party. They are the person who crashed into your car or knocked you off your bike or performed lousy surgery on you. They will be represented by the insurance company that covers them. That insurance company is financially responsible for your damages. They will also be your biggest obstacle. That is why you need to have skilled Jacksonville personal injury lawyer by your side.

The damages that you will be looking to recover break down into parts: economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages are things that have cost you money due to the injury, such as medical bills, lost wages, medication costs, rehab fees, etc. Non-economic damages include things like pain and suffering, loss of quality of life, and so on. Those are harder damages to calculate because you can’t put a price on the pain that you’re in.

Tips for a Successful Case

With any given personal injury case, there is likely to be a lot of evidence at the scene. It is best for you to collect that evidence as soon as possible. If, for example, you were involved in a truck accident that left you so badly injured that you were swept away in an ambulance unconscious, you are obviously not going to be able to get the evidence yourself. If this is the case for you, you can call on a friend, family member or even our Jacksonville personal injury lawyer to go to the scene for you and collect the evidence on your behalf. There are also likely to be police officers on the scene to make a report. The evidence that you want includes photos and videos of the scene including the cause of your injuries, photos and videos of your injuries themselves, contact information from witnesses, and anything else that you find relevant.

If you are personally on the scene collecting evidence, it is important not to mindlessly admit guilt. For instance, if you were involved in a car accident and your adrenaline is pumping and you were trying to take photos and videos of the scene when the other vehicle passengers involved get out to talk to you, you might be tempted to say you’re sorry it was your fault. Even if you think that you caused the accident in the moment you won’t know for sure why it happened until there’s been a thorough investigation done. You could be ruining your claim before it even starts.

As stated, the insurance company is going to be your biggest obstacle even though they’re the ones that are supposed to be providing you your biggest relief. Their main objective is to save themselves money; meanwhile, you and your Jacksonville personal injury lawyer have the mission of getting full and fair compensation. Your lawyer is meant to make this easier on you. Something to be cautious of is the fact that the insurance company may call to try and get a recorded statement from you. You are in no way obligated to give them one. A recorded statement is just a tool for the insurance company to get you to put yourself at fault in the incident and reduce the value of your claim.

Who is responsible for paying my medical bills after a personal injury accident

Liability in a Personal Injury Case

Ironically, the first line of responsibility is you. In an automobile accident case, you carry what is known as PIP, Personal Injury Protection. You may know it as no-fault insurance. You’re required to have it in the state of Florida. The reason you have it is if you get hurt in an automobile accident, that is what’s paid first. That is the law in Florida. Next, if you have health insurance, it will pick up what your PIP does not pay.

Ultimately, if we make a claim and we recover, part of that claim is medical bills and, although typically it’s one check the insurance company writes, it covers all your damages, including the medical bills. There are other complexities to that. The first line of payment is your own insurance.

If you’ve been hurt in an automobile accident or other accidents, sit down and talk with us. We can go into all the insurance issues. Typically, this is a first-time event for many clients. They do not know how it works. Working through the maze and myriad of insurance responsibilities and layers of insurance is a mystery to them. We can unravel that mystery. If you’ve been hurt in Duval County, Nassau County, give us a call. We’ll sit down and go over all of that the very first so that you have a full understanding of how to handle your medical bills and other aspects of the case.

Minimum Amount of Medical Bills Needed For a Personal Injury Case

People often come to us with details about their cases and ask whether they have a case. One of the questions that they ask is whether there is a minimum amount or dollar amount of medical bills needed before they can make a claim. There’s no real minimum, although medical bills drive values of cases in many instances. If you have no treatment, you have no medical bills at all, it’s hard to say that you’re hurt so that we can make a claim. The larger the medical bills, the more the insurance company will believe that the case has greater merit, depending on other factors. Again, these are details that we would love to discuss with you if you’ve been hurt in Duval County, Nassau County, Fernandina Beach, Yulee, or Jacksonville. Give us a call. We’ll sit down and talk about your case.

Steps to Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit

One of the questions that clients ask when they come into the office is, “How do we get started? What are the steps in starting my case?” It differs from case to case. Initially, you come see the lawyer and we sit down and we talk about the case and find out what kind of case it is. Some cases, we will go to the courthouse immediately and file what is called a complaint. That starts your complaint in the court system. Other cases require us to put defendants on formal notice before we’re able to actually file a lawsuit against them. Come see a lawyer first. Let’s gather up all the facts. Let’s gather the evidence, which is very important. Then we know what we have, we know the direction that we need to take your case, depending on what kind it is. Here in northeast Florida, Nassau County, or Duval County, that’s how it’s done. If you live in those areas and you’ve been hurt, give us a call. We’ll be happy to sit down with you, talk to you in more detail about your case, and figure out what next steps are.

Personal Injury Settlement Timeline

One of the very first questions that most clients ask is how long their case will last. That question, as important as it is, is rather hard to answer directly with an exact timeframe. It could be as quickly as six months. It could be several years. It depends upon your case. In Nassau County, we have lots of logging truck accidents and those cases can be complex. They can last a couple of years. If we can get into a situation where we can approach the insurance company early on, it could be six to eight to nine months. You must be prepared to go the long haul. This is not going to be over in a couple of weeks. Again, every case is a little bit different. Call us. Make an appointment. We’ll sit down together or through Zoom and we’ll go over it and figure out how best to help you.

Can I recover for emotional damages in my personal injury case

Recovering For Emotional Damages

Clients ask often what they can recover in their cases. Typically, the clients know the medical bills and lost wages are recoverable but many times they’ll ask if emotional loss is part of the claim that they can recover for. The answer is absolutely yes. Indeed, that sometimes is the major point of recovery where you have an emotional loss like the loss of a spouse, the loss of a child. Those are particularly tragic cases. Emotional loss is the major component of it. Yes, you can recover emotional damages. In northeast Florida, Jacksonville, Fernandina Beach, or the Nassau County area, we handle these kinds of cases. Call us today. We’d be happy to sit down with you and talk about your case and how we best can approach it.

Pre-existing Conditions in a Personal Injury Case

Nassau County is an aging community. Many of our clients have what is known as a pre-existing condition, something that was there before the accident or injury for which they’re coming to see us has occurred. They’re concerned about how that’s going to impact their case. Depending upon where on your body that pre-existing condition is, there will be an effect. For example, if you have a low back injury from years ago and you get involved in a rear end collision and you injure that low back area again, the insurance company is going to say it all came from before the accident. We have means and measures to deal with that.

It is an issue in your case, and to be quite honest with you, it will lower the settlement value of your case because the defense has the ability to point to something unrelated to the accident to say that’s where your hurt is. We get records. We educate ourselves on your medical condition so that we can approach your case in the best way. One of the things that we do not do is oversell your case. We get educated. We will know you as well as you know you. That is important. Don’t be dismayed that you have a pre-existing condition. Call us. We’ll approach it in a way that suits your case the best.

Avoiding Personal Injury Trial

People generally don’t like to go to trial. It’s a foreign experience. It’s filled with tension and pressure for them. We, as lawyers, have to be sensitive to that, particularly those of us who have tried many cases. We sometimes overlook the pressure points that clients experience in the courtroom. You can avoid that by settling your case before trial. The offers that insurance companies will make if your case has merit will vary from insurance company to insurance company. We will give you recommendations about what we think you should do. Trying cases in Nassau County and Duval County, we are pretty familiar with the insurance carriers and we know how they approach these issues. Whether or not we can avoid it will depend upon you as the client. We will give you recommendation about what we think you should do but the bottom-line decision is yours. You control it in terms of whether you try your case or we avoid it by settling the case. If you’ve been hurt in any form of accident in Duval County, Nassau County, or northeast Florida, feel free to call. We’ll sit down and go over the ins and outs of your case.

Initial Offer For a Personal Injury Case

When we meet with clients, we talk about how the case is going to go. Settlement comes up every single time. Many times, a client will ask if they should accept the insurance company’s first settlement offer. Typically, we say no because insurance companies are like most companies. They try to get away with paying as little as they can. If you’ve been around like we have for 38 years, you know that they will not come in with their best offer initially. The short answer is no. If your case has significant problems, that could influence that answer, but generally speaking, no. We litigate the cases. We get their best dollar on the table and then sit down with the client to discuss whether we will accept that offer and resolve the case at that point. If you’ve been hurt or injured in the Nassau County area, Duval County area, give us a call. We’ll sit down. We’ll talk about your case and see how best we can help you.

Settling a Personal Injury Case

People ask often if it is possible that a case will settle before going to court. The statistics show that most cases do. Even with lawyers like us who have tried a lot of cases, the majority of our cases do settle before court. The reason for that is we prepare. We know our cases. The other side of the insurance company knows that we know our case. If they know our track record, they know that we’re willing to trial the case.

When that happens, if you have seasoned lawyers on both sides and seasoned insurance adjustors on the other side, then typically we will find ourselves in the same range of settlement value. In those cases, more likely than not, we will be able to settle your case but it will be done in a reasonable manner in a range that we think is reasonable. That only comes with experience. We have been practicing for decades and have been inside a courtroom. We know what a courtroom can do for you and we have a healthy respect for the courtroom. Give us a call if you’ve been hurt Nassau County or Duval County. We’ll be able to sit down with you and go over your case in detail.

Will my personal injury case go to trial

Personal Injury Trial

One of the questions that we get asked almost every time is whether or not a case will go to court. A lot of people are fearful of that. Quite frankly, most people would like to have their case settled before that. We don’t make promises to our clients about whether cases will go to court or won’t. It depends upon the fact of your case. We will make a recommendation about whether or not the insurance company is dealing with us fairly in settlement offers. If we don’t think they’re dealing fairly with us and we can do better at trial, we will tell you that. We’ll give you our recommendation that we should try the case. The bottom-line decision is yours, but it will be made in conjunction with detailed conversations that we have along the way. If you’ve been hurt or injured in Nassau County, call us. We’ll go over the details of your case.

Personal Injury Expert Witnesses

As we get into cases, we begin talking about hiring witnesses to help with the case. These people are called expert witnesses. They are specially hired for the case, with the exception of your treating doctors, who are also known as expert witnesses. Their role is to provide professional opinions about certain complex areas of the case that are beyond the understanding of the average juror. We routinely hire experts in our cases to help in those areas that are needed. We don’t go overboard in hiring experts. We hire them as we need them, but if we need them, we go get them. If you have any questions about your case, expert witnesses or otherwise, call us. We’ll sit down an we’ll talk about your case.

Choosing The Right Personal Injury Attorney

We had someone ask recently how to go about picking a good personal injury lawyer here in Nassau County and the Amelia Island area. This is what we told them— You want someone who has experience and someone who has been inside of a courtroom and knows what a courtroom looks like and has tried cases similar to the one that you have. That is the number one consideration. You also want someone who’s familiar with the area who’s willing to go out to the areas where the injury or accident occurred and can translate that into your claim. That is another important consideration in picking a personal injury lawyer. If you would like to discuss this further, call us. We’d be happy to go through the ins and outs of your case in much more detail.

Call Our Florida Personal Injury Lawyer Today

Our Jacksonville personal injury lawyer wants to fight for your rights to full and fair justice. Please don’t hesitate to give our office a call today. You’ll speak with one of us directly during a free consultation. In your consultation, we will go over the details of your case and direct you on what legal action you should be taking. Call us today to get started.

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