If you have been injured, your medical costs, lost wages and emotional trauma can make recovering difficult. No one should deal with this pain and stress on their own. If your injuries were caused by someone else, a Highlands County personal injury lawyer can help you seek justice.
Types of Personal Injuries in Highlands County
Unfortunately, there are many different injuries that can occur. For example, you may sprain your ankle or break a hip after slipping on a puddle of water. While many types of injuries can happen, the following types are generally the most common.
- Injuries from a falling object: While it sounds impossible, there are actually a surprising number of people who get injured or killed by a falling object. For example, a landowner may prune a tree without paying attention to people walking underneath them. If a branch hits someone’s head, they could become seriously injured.
- Muscle strains: Many people turn to a Highlands County personal injury attorney because of a muscle strain or sprain. While people often worry about broken bones, some muscle strains can take longer to heal.
- Accidents: Car crashes are just one example of dangerous accidents that can cause medical bills and long-term expenses. Pedestrian accidents and other collisions can lead to amputations, damaged limbs, cuts and spinal damage.
- Broken bones: Broken bones and fractures often lead to insurance claims. Unlike back pain or similar conditions, a broken bone is an objective injury. Because of this, it is easier to show evidence of the injury in court. Unfortunately, it can still take a long time to heal, and some patients may need extra treatments if the bone heals incorrectly.
- Repetitive injuries: A variety of activities can lead to repetitive injuries. For example, typing and sewing can end up causing carpal tunnel syndrome. If this injury occurred because of your job, you may be able to build a case for getting workers’ compensation.
- Inhalation of toxic substances: Because Florida is so humid, you may develop medical issues because of mold. If you have inhaled poisonous fumes, a personal injury lawyer can help.
Types of Highland County Personal Injury Cases
Unfortunately, there are many different problems that can cause a personal injury. In order to have a legal case, your injury must have been caused by someone else’s negligence or malicious decision to cause harm. Depending on the circumstances, the following situations may lead to a personal injury case.
- Defective products: If you buy a refrigerator or a new car, you naturally expect it to function a certain way. Sometimes, these items contain a product malfunction or design issue. When this happens, the buyer may become injured. Afterward, a personal injury attorney can help you figure out if the defective product was the cause of your injuries.
- Motor vehicle crashes: Car accidents are a major cause of personal injury cases. Some of these cases also involve employer liability. As a result, it can be challenging to show who is responsible for the crash.
- Medical malpractice: Medical professionals are supposed to help patients heal. If they cause a birth injury, surgical error or misdiagnosis, it can lead to devastating consequences. People can get help following medical malpractice by going to a personal injury lawyer.
- Premises liability: If you are hurt on another person’s property, you may be able to build a personal injury case. Normally, property owners have a duty to protect others from serious harm. If they fail to protect you from being injured on their property, you may be able to seek compensation in court.
- Workplace accidents: A workplace accident can occur for many different reasons. You may be injured by heavy machinery or falling construction materials. After an injury, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation. Because laws about workers’ compensation vary between different states, it is important to work with an attorney who is licensed to practice law in Florida.
- Wrongful deaths: Wrongful death is a term for cases where a person dies because of another party’s carelessness. These cases can happen because of medical malpractice, nursing home neglect, airplane crashes, defective products or construction accidents. Because of the seriousness of these cases, you can collect different damages than you normally would be able to in a non-fatal case.
Unfortunately, there are many things that can lead to a personal injury case. Dog bites, nursing home abuse, boating accidents, food poisoning and asbestos exposure can cause devastating injuries. Whether you have suffered from a spinal cord injury or a muscle strain, you may be able to seek financial compensation for your injuries through a personal injury case.
Proving Liability For A Highland County Personal Injury Claim
In order to win your case, you have to prove that the other party is responsible for your injuries. First, your Highlands County personal injury lawyer must show that the at-fault party had a duty of care. This means that a reasonable person would have acted in a safe, legal way. For instance, someone could be liable because they left nails lying on the sidewalk in front of their home, and a child was injured.
You have to also demonstrate that there was a breach of the at-fault party’s duty of care, and the breach directly caused the accident. In this case, a breach is the actions someone takes that went against their duty of care. It is possible for multiple people or organizations to be liable for the same injury.
There are many examples of this kind of case happening in day-to-day life. For instance, customers may become hurt if they fall because a retail store has wet floors. If the store’s employees did not post a sign that said the floors were wet, then they may have violated their duty of care. Likewise, a trucking company could be liable for a car accident if they deliberately hired drivers who were not certified to drive large trucks.
Does Filing a Case Mean You Need to Go to Court?
It is always a good idea to mentally prepare yourself for a trial. While it is unlikely, there is a slight chance that your case could end up in the courtroom. In general, 95 percent of personal injury cases never go to court.
Instead, most at-fault parties decide to settle the litigation outside of court. The other party knows that they could end up paying significantly more if they lose the case. Because of this, at-fault parties generally prefer to negotiate a settlement agreement.
Your attorney can speed up this process by creating a demand package. This package includes the relevant details of the case as well as the injuries involved. It will also cover any financial expenses. The at-fault party’s insurance company will review the package and respond in one of three different ways.
First, the insurance provider could reject the claim completely. If they refuse to pay, then you and your lawyer will begin planning your courtroom strategy. After the claim is filed in court, many insurance companies become more amenable to a settlement offer.
Alternatively, the insurance provider could accept the claim immediately. Fighting a legal case costs money, and insurance companies do not want to spend money unnecessarily. If they think you would get a large payout in court, they would rather cut their losses and settle the case as quickly as possible.
Finally, the insurance provider can make their own offer. Normally, insurance providers make low settlement offers. Since their initial offers are generally unreasonable, they are not worth considering. Instead, your lawyer can use the offer’s existence to start settlement negotiations.
It is important to remain flexible during these negotiations. While most cases are settled outside of court, it is important that you are prepared for the possibility that you may have to take the case to trial. Sometimes, insurance companies will back away from a settlement offer because they hope that they can get a better deal in court.
Insurance providers are always trying to achieve the lowest payout possible. Because of this, you may need to file paperwork in court. Even if the paperwork has already been filed, you can still pursue settlement negotiations. By filing this paperwork, you show the insurance provider that you mean business. If they know that you are taking them to court for sure, it may encourage them to negotiate a settlement.
How A Highland County Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
Technically, you can file a personal injury case by yourself. There is no requirement to get legal representation. Most people will benefit from having the advice of an experienced lawyer. Unless you know how to compile evidence, interview witnesses and follow courtroom procedures, it will be challenging to bring your case to trial.
Additionally, personal injury cases make representing yourself uniquely difficult. Because you have been injured, you have medical bills, stress and other problems in your life. These issues can distract you from preparing your legal case. If you are suffering from long-term injuries, it might not be advisable to represent yourself.
After a major illness or injury, you deserve the best help possible. If another party was responsible for your injuries, a Highlands County personal injury attorney can help you explore your legal options. To learn more about personal injury cases, call us today.