Personal injury is a broad field of law that helps victims who have suffered from the actions of others get justice and compensation for their injuries.
If you or someone you know is a victim of a personal injury accident in Cocoa Beach, an experienced personal injury lawyer in Cocoa Beach can help you fight for compensation. Our lawyers at Andrew Pickett Law, are skilled to handle all personal injury cases. Call us today for help.
Elements of a Personal Injury Claim
Any person looking for compensation as a result of someone else actions must prove that the following elements exist in the claim:
1. Existence of Duty
There has to be a relationship between you and the defendant whereby they owed you a level of care. Your Cocoa Beach personal injury lawyer must show that the defendant had a duty to prevent causing injuries or harm to you. The duty could be as simple as the defendant driving safely on the road.
2. Breach of Duty
After showing the existence of a duty of care, your lawyer should show that the defendant breached that duty. Even if the defendant had no intentions of hurting you, they can still be liable.
In cases where you were partially responsible for the injuries, your compensation may be reduced by the percentage of your liability.
3. Injury to the Claimant
You must show that you sustained an injury(physical, emotional, or financial) to get compensation.
If you weren’t injured in the accident, filing a personal injury claim may not be appropriate. Also, if the injuries were not serious, there won’t be a need to file a lawsuit in some cases.
To prove that the defendant is accountable for your harm and losses, you must show that their actions resulted in your injuries.
For a free legal consultation with a personal injury lawyer serving Cocoa Beach, call 321-503-4014
Comparative Fault Doctrine in Florida
Florida is a pure comparative negligence state according to Statute §768.81. This means that victims can seek damages proportional to the percentage of their liability in the accident.
Florida courts treat your liability in terms of percentage, and the jury will reduce your monetary compensation by the percentage of your liability. For instance, if the compensation was $50,000 and you were 20% responsible for the accident, the final compensation would be reduced by 20%, meaning you would only receive $30,000.
You will still get compensation even if you were 99% liable since there is no cap for your level of liability.
Cocoa Beach Personal Injury Lawyer Near Me 321-503-4014
Damages Recovered in a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Accident victims can receive two compensatory damages: economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages compensate you for measurable losses, and they include:
- Medical bills.
- Counseling bills.
- Lost earning capacity.
- Lost income.
- Occupational therapy.
- Cost for repairs to damaged property.
Non-economic damages are harder to prove than economic damages since there is no paper trail or documentation. The damages include:
- Emotional distress.
- Pain and distress.
- Loss of consortium.
- Loss of companionship.
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
What to Do After an Accident in Cocoa Beach
Seeking compensation involves a series of steps that an attorney can help you through. The steps begin after the accident has occurred.
1. Seek Medical Help
Accidents can be horrific. If you have been injured, you need to call 911 for emergency help immediately or have someone make the call if you are not in a position to do so. Even if you feel okay, some injuries take time to show up, so having a doctor check you out could save your life.
2. Collecting Evidence
Collect evidence of the scene of the accident in the form of:
- Taking pictures and videos of the accident scene.
- Witness statements.
- Take notes of every detail of the accident, including weather conditions, traffic lights, the condition of the property, and the number of people present at the scene.
- Take photos of your injuries.
- Medical reports.
3. Call a Personal Injury Attorney in Cocoa Beach
A Cocoa Beach personal injury attorney can guide you on what to do and not do after an accident. The lawyer can also help you collect the necessary evidence that could help you get a much greater settlement than what the insurance company is offering.
If the insurance company refuses to offer you a settlement that can cater to your injury, your lawyer can advise you to file a lawsuit.
4. Investigate the Claim
Your attorney must have all the information at hand to file a lawsuit. The lawyer may need to interview you about the accident and the injuries you sustained to achieve this.
Don’t hide anything, as this could jeopardize the case. Your attorney needs to be prepared for what the defense might have, so having all the right information will help your case.
5. File a Claim or Settle the Case
If you, your attorney, and the insurance company come to a settlement agreement, you can be compensated without going to court. However, if there is no agreement, the case can proceed to court. Once a lawsuit has been initiated, the litigation phase will begin.
6. Personal Injury Trial
Not many personal injury cases reach trial, but when they do, a judge and jury will come to a determination once every piece of evidence is presented.
No one can tell what the outcome will be; you may lose or win the case. Therefore, your attorney should sit down with you and discuss the risks and benefits of going to trial.What Is the Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims in Florida?
According to Florida laws, all personal injury cases must be filed within four years after the accident occurred. If you bring a lawsuit after four years, the case may be dismissed. However, §95.051 makes exceptions for circumstances such as:
- If the defendant fled or concealed their information in an attempt not to be held responsible.
- The defendant left Florida before the lawsuit could be filed.
- You were incapacitated by the accident.
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Let a Cocoa Beach Personal Injury Lawyer Handle Your Case
Personal injury cases can be complicated, but it gets more complicated when dealing with insurance companies. Having someone on your side who is dedicated and experienced in handling these cases means you have a chance of winning.
Our attorneys at Andrew Pickett Law are ready to help. Contact us today for a free consultation.