Accidental injuries affect a percentage of Americans every year, stemming from a wide variety of situations, including car crashes, slips and falls, poisoning, dog bites, and medical malpractice.

In 2019, there were more than 33,000 fatal motor vehicle accidents across the United States. These crashes led to more than 36,000 deaths, including drivers, passengers, and pedestrians on the road. Statistically, this resulted in 11 deaths per 100,000 people, and 1.11 deaths per 100 million miles traveled.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in the United States, over 39.5 million people are cases of medically treated injuries and poisonings each year. Every year, there are more than 260,000 cases of accidental poisoning, 1.1 million fractures, and 190,000 deaths in the U.S. that stem from accidental injuries. CDC also states that the average hospital bill that a senior citizen will receive after a fall is $35,000. It is estimated that slips and falls that older people suffer may alone cost $67.7 billion to the United States.

Personal injury cases are legal disputes that arise when one person suffers harm from an accident or injury, and someone else might be legally responsible for that harm. Under personal injury law, an injured claimant must satisfy certain legal elements before collecting compensation. An experienced personal injury lawyer can represent clients who face:

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Personal injury damages are serious for a number of reasons. People who suffer personal injuries may face devastating circumstances and financial ruin. Some accident victims will never be the same again. Damages help by covering many of the costs and expenses associated with personal injuries.

There are many types of damages that a claimant may seek, but some are more difficult to prove than others. Claimants should be prepared with documentation about their medical care and other related expenses.

By hiring a trusted lawyer, a client will know what to expect throughout the legal process and will face surprises that they might otherwise encounter without an experienced injury attorney’s assistance. If you have suffered a personal injury, you do not need to face the process alone. An experienced attorney can stand by your side and take on major insurance companies with confidence.

One of the main reasons that it is difficult to win compensation following a car accident in Fort Myers or in any other personal injury action is that personal injury laws can be exceedingly complex and difficult to understand. Unless you have a deep understanding of law, you may unwittingly make mistakes that could spell disaster for your case.

These are some of the critical steps in a personal injury action:

  • One aspect of a personal injury case relates to proving that another party is at fault.
  • A claimant must demonstrate that an actual injury occurred for it to be a viable personal injury case. Sometimes, an internal injury may not show symptoms until days, weeks, or months after the initial accident. In cases in which the personal injury does not become apparent immediately, a claimant may still be able to recover.
  • The injured claimant must usually demonstrate fault by proving that another party was negligent, careless, or reckless.
  • Personal injury claims must be filed within a certain time frame, called the statute of limitations. In the case of injuries suffered in a car accident, claimants generally have four years to file a claim, but this depends on the state where the accident occurred. This period begins at the date of the reported accident.
  • If you fail to take action before the statute of limitations expires, you will be unable to file a personal injury lawsuit in Florida’s civil courts. A Fort Myers personal injury attorney can help ensure that you complete your claim in a thorough and timely manner.
  • A personal injury claimant needs to show that the injury meets certain classifications and guidelines. A sound personal injury case will highlight the necessary elements for a legal argument. If the claimant cannot demonstrate these elements, the claim may falter.

Elements of a Personal Injury Claim

Every personal injury negligence case requires that the claimant prove a duty of care. A duty of care is a legal concept that refers to one’s responsibility to the claimant. The at-fault party typically has a duty to act within the confines of reasonable behavior. For example, a driver has the duty to obey traffic laws and not run red lights.

The second aspect of a personal injury case relates to a breach of this duty. A breach of duty occurs when the accused party fails to discharge their duty of reasonable car. For instance, a surgeon may breach a duty of care by failing to follow proper procedure.

The third aspect of personal injury claims is the injury or injuries. These are also called damages. Damages can arise as the result of medical expenses associated with a physical injury, emotional damages, punitive damages, and lost wages, among other things.

Finally, there is the element of causation. The claimant must prove a causal link between the other party’s actions and the injuries they suffered. This may sound easy, but it can become extremely complicated.

Moreover, a Fort Myers personal injury lawyer understands this burden of proof. Personal injury claims are matters handled in civil court. For this reason, personal injury cases have a much lower burden of proof than do criminal cases. The burden of proof in most personal injury cases is simply “more likely than not.”

This burden of proof means that it is more likely than not that the injured claimant’s argument is true. Thus, the probability that the plaintiff is telling the truth must be any value over 50%. This is also called a “preponderance of evidence.” Legal representation from reputable attorneys can be extremely beneficial.

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Two Prime Concepts Involved in Injury Cases

Injured claimants deserve to have an experienced and professional personal injury lawyer to help increase their chances of winning compensation. Without a sound attorney, a claim may fail. It can be very difficult to prove the chain of causation between an accident and an injury. This can be highly problematic for claimants who are severely hurt. Additionally, some personal injury claims do not rely entirely on negligence. An attorney can help you pursue any type of injury claims.

Personal injury cases also factor into two other concepts: strict liability and intentional wrongs. These areas of law help to hold many parties at-fault for claimant injuries when negligence may not apply.

  • Strict liability: This concept deals generally with designers and manufacturers. Under this doctrine, parties may be held strictly liable for injuries resulting from defective products. The injured person does not have to demonstrate negligence. Instead, the injured party must prove that the product was designed or manufactured in a way that made it unreasonably dangerous. For strict liability to apply, the danger should be present when the product is used as intended.
  • Intentional wrongs: This concept refers to personal injury cases stemming from intentional wrongdoing. In other words, a person’s intentional conduct results in another person’s injuries. Intentional wrongs do not refer to accidents as other personal injury cases do. Although some cases may hold criminal consequences, the intentional wrongs case is handled in civil court. Criminal charges may be brought separately.

In some complicated cases, there may be multiple causes of action. Claimants in these circumstances should seek an experienced Fort Myers personal injury attorney. A sound legal mind can help their clients understand Florida’s relevant laws.

The state of Florida has a number of specific personal injury laws that affect the outcomes of claims. One such law pertains to automobile accidents. Known as a no-fault state, Florida requires that every driver’s insurance covers their potential car accident injuries and damages, regardless of who is at fault.

However, Florida will permit personal injury lawsuits if a car accident is deemed serious. The state’s law defines personal injuries as serious if they lead to one of the following:

  • Death
  • Severe and permanent loss of bodily functioning
  • Severe and permanent scarring or disfigurement
  • A permanent medically determinable injury aside from scarring or disfigurement

Because these criteria may be highly subjective, a claimant should provide as much information as possible. Relevant medical documentation may include diagnoses, treatments, and other reports. A good accident attorney can help prove that injuries are severe and guide their client on how to pursue maximum damages.

These damages may include:

  • All estimated medical bills and other related expenses
  • Lost work wages
  • Lost earning potential
  • Property damage
  • Permanent deformities and disabilities
  • Home modification costs
  • Psychological distress
  • Family relationship difficulties

Contact Fort Myers Personal Injury Lawyer at Berke Law Firm

At Berke Law Firm, P.A., we have a strong legal team to support you in every step of the claims process. Relying on our help allows you to concentrate on your health while we seek compensation on your behalf. Our in-depth knowledge of tort law and experience handling complex injury claims allow us to efficiently craft an effective legal strategy for your case. Leave your worries to us and let us fight for your rights!

A legal professional can deliver a compelling legal case that will greatly benefit your claim. If you want full and fair compensation for your injuries, you need a Fort Myers personal injury attorney who has in-depth understanding of the law. You can schedule a free consultation with our experienced lawyers to discuss your injury case.