An injury could change your life and impact everyone in your family. Depending on the seriousness of your injury, medical expenses could be astronomical, and treatment might become the focus of your life. When performing the ordinary tasks required to live becomes challenging or physically impossible, your quality of life and that of your family suffers.
These challenges are difficult to accept, especially if your injury resulted from recklessness or negligence on the part of another person or entity. Our Miami personal injury lawyers provide legal assistance to individuals and their families who experienced a devastating injury. We help you fight for the compensation you deserve and need to move forward with your life. Call Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. at (866) 386-1762 to schedule a free consultation.
Common Causes of Personal Injuries Lawsuits in Miami
When you suffer an injury due to another’s negligence or intentional behavior, you are entitled to seek monetary compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. Our Miami personal injury attorney handles various types of cases arising from a variety of injuries. Some of the most common reasons our office files lawsuits are listed below.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
One of the most common reasons people seek the assistance of a personal injury attorney is because they, or a loved one, was injured in a car accident. Unfortunately, motor vehicle accidents happen all too frequently. People involved in a car crash could experience everything from a few cuts and bruises to life-altering spinal cord injuries. Even the most superficial injury could prove more severe as time passes. If you are hurt in a car, truck, or motorcycle accident, you should seek medical attention, and you should not accept a settlement offer from an insurance company without speaking with our experienced Miami personal injury attorney.
Slip and Fall Accidents
Often the subject of jokes on television or movies, slip and fall accidents often result in severe injuries. Anytime a person loses their balance and falls, they could break an ankle, injure their back, or suffer a traumatic head injury. If the fall is from a height, the injuries could be much more severe.
Slip and fall accidents are usually tied in with a premises liability claim. Building owners, managers, and landlords are supposed to ensure that their building is safe. Unmarked wet floors could lead to a slip and fall accident, while a broken staircase could result in a severe and avoidable injury. If you were hurt while on another’s property, you might be able to hold them responsible for any expenses or damages you incur.
When we purchase a product, we expect it to serve the purpose it was intended. There are times when that is not the case and it is frustrating. However, there are other situations where a product is defective or lacking proper warning labels to the point where it is dangerous and results in an injury. For example, if you purchased a mountain bike with a defective axle, you could easily be seriously hurt if the axle snaps. Companies that allow defective products on the market should be held liable for any injuries they cause.
People in Miami trust their doctors and other medical professionals to care for their physical and mental well-being. Whether it is a routine check-up, complicated surgery, or the birth of a child, medical mistakes could result in devastating or fatal complications. Doctors are not infallible, but when their errors are unjustifiable and harm their patients, they should be held accountable.
Not every injury in Miami is created equally. As stated above, people are commonly hurt in car crashes or slip and fall accidents. In many cases, a person brings a lawsuit because they broke their arm, incurred substantial medical expenses, or lost time at work. These are all recoverable damages in a personal injury lawsuit. However, sometimes the injury is life-altering or catastrophic.
The term catastrophic injury is used to describe a broad category of significant and life-altering injuries. This type of injury is more than a broken bone that takes a few weeks to heal. A catastrophic injury will impact a person’s quality of life, leaving them depressed or despondent. Often, a victim will be unable to walk, work, or accomplish the ordinary daily tasks of life. These injuries will put a family under tremendous financial and emotional strain while the injured person struggles with recovery and medical treatments.
A catastrophic injury will often involve damage to a person’s brain or a severe injury to their spinal column. Other types of injuries include burns, multiple fractures, amputation, and complete or partial paralysis. Catastrophic injuries result in long-term medical care and could require expensive in-home healthcare or modifications to your home. Our Miami personal injury attorneys will fight for the compensation you need to withstand this financial burden.
Miami’s Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Lawsuits.
No matter what type of injury you suffered, you do not have an unlimited amount of time to file a personal injury claim in Miami. The Florida statute of limitations requires that a personal injury lawsuit is filed within four years of the injury. While this might appear to be plenty of time, it could take months or years of medical treatment and therapy before we understand the actual physical, mental, and financial impact of your injury. Not knowing the extent of the harm is one reason you do not want to accept a settlement offer from an insurance company before speaking with our seasoned Miami personal injury attorney. If your injury alters your entire life, you do not want to accept a quick offer just to receive immediate compensation. Once you accept a settlement, even if the amount is insufficient to cover your medical expenses, lost income, and emotional distress, you are prohibited from seeking additional compensation through a lawsuit.
Proving Liability in a Miami Personal Injury Lawsuit
To prevail in a personal injury lawsuit in a Miami court, an injured plaintiff must prove that the defendant acted negligently. Negligence is a legal standard that is required to be met if you want to be awarded monetary compensation. Sometimes, an accident is merely an accident. To hold a defendant liable, our Miami personal injury attorney will have to establish four elements.
Duty of Care
The first thing that must be established is that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care. Legally, a duty of care is the standard of reasonable care a defendant must provide. This duty will be different, depending on the case. For example, a driver in Miami has a duty to operate their vehicle safely. This means, at the very least, obeying traffic rules and regulations. The duty of care a physician owes their patient will be different than the duty a grocery store manager will owe their customers.
Breach of Duty
Next, the defendant must have breached their duty of care. Again, this will depend on the relationship between the defendant and the injured plaintiff. Typically, a court will ask what a reasonably prudent and similarly trained person would do under the same circumstances. Referring back to a car accident, if someone is driving while drunk, they are clearly breaching their duty of care. However, in a situation where the visibility is poor because of bad weather, driving at the speed limit could be construed as a breach of duty – even though the driver is not technically speeding. In many cases, determining a breach of duty will depend on the available evidence and circumstances surrounding an injury.
After proving that the defendant breached their duty of care, it must be shown that the conduct caused the injury. If someone was driving drunk and collides with a motorcycle, then causation is not much of a question. However, if the motorcyclist had a previous back injury, then there might be a question as to the extent of damage that was caused by the accident. Another example is when a person is undergoing surgery. A doctor might make a critical error, but their patient was, unfortunately, going to die no matter what the surgeon did. In this case, proving causation could be difficult, if not impossible.
Just because you were in a car accident does not mean you are entitled to monetary damages. If you were lucky enough not to sustain any injuries, then it does not matter what the defendant did. Unfortunately, many accidents and injuries require medical treatment, physical therapy, or other medical expenses such as medication and diagnostic tests. Additionally, many injures will prevent a person from working for a period of time, resulting in lost wages. When an injury is catastrophic in nature, the medical expenses could be significant, and the loss of income could be permanent.
Damages Available in a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Miami
If you are injured in Miami, you are likely to incur medical costs and other expenses. In cases of catastrophic injuries, medical costs could be significant. In addition to medical expenses, people who are hurt due to another’s negligence are entitled to recover lost income and other unforeseen costs. Injured victims and their loved ones generally do not anticipate the full cost of a devastating injury. In addition to the financial and physical losses, a victim often suffers from severe mental and emotional anguish. Our Miami personal injury attorney will calculate the value of the damages sustained.
You are entitled to recover your financial losses through a personal injury lawsuit. These economic damages include the medical costs you have already incurred and those you will be required to pay in the future. Additionally, you should be compensated for any wages you would have earned had you not been injured.
Non-economic damages can be recovered for your physical and emotional suffering. If your quality of life is forever altered, you deserve to be compensated for the mental anguish associated with your injury. While these types of damages are difficult to calculate, our office will work closely with you, your family and your healthcare providers to fully understand the impact of your injury.
Do Not Hesitate to Seek Legal Representation After An Injury in Miami
The steps you take immediately following a catastrophic injury will often influence your ability to recover damages from a negligent party. Florida follows the doctrine of comparative negligence, so any degree of fault could decrease your chances of compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. A mere statement of concern or an expression of sorrow following an injury could be construed as an admission of fault. Our experienced Miami personal injury attorney is available to provide the legal guidance and representation you need from the beginning.
Prevailing in a personal injury lawsuit begins with immediately gathering evidence to prove negligence and liability. In many cases, the best evidence is only available soon after an incident occurs. For example, surveillance video that is erased every seven or thirty days could prove vital in demonstrating what happened. By contacting our office as soon as possible, we can work to preserve critical evidence and talk with witnesses while the incident is still fresh in their memories.
Call Our Miami Personal Injury Lawyer for a Free Consultation
Any personal injury can impact your life. When the injury is catastrophic, the results are often life-altering. Our experienced Miami devastating injury lawyer is dedicated to representing those hurt through the negligence of others. Devastating injuries not only result in physical harm, but they also harm a person and their family financially and emotionally. You need an aggressive attorney fighting for your proper compensation. Call Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. at (866) 386-1762 to schedule a free consultation.