If you have suffered injuries after a traffic accident or have gotten hurt after a slip and fall, you may wonder how to collect compensation for the pain and suffering you have experienced—not to mention the cost of medical treatment and loss of income.
Common Types of Personal Injury Claims
No doubt, your thoughts after an accident will center around getting your life back in order, but you also may be wondering if you have grounds to file an insurance claim or even a lawsuit.
There are a number of issues that affect the most common types of personal injury claims.
Slip and Fall
If you slip on a wet surface in a restaurant, or trip over an obstacle in a dimly lit hallway, you may be eligible for a slip and fall claim. In this case, you would be required to prove the property owner or manager was negligent in fixing the problem. Either they failed to fix the problem—even after knowing about it—or they should have anticipated the problem and did not take reasonable precautions to prevent it. You would need to file your claim within four years of your accident to be within Florida statutes. In the tragic case of wrongful death of a loved one, you would need to file within two years.
Accidents involving a car, truck, motorcycle, bus, pedestrian, or bicycle generate the most common type of personal injury claims. In these types of accidents, it may be difficult to determine blame because fault is not always immediately clear.
However, Florida is a “no-fault” insurance state for car accidents. Motorists are required to carry a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) coverage and must turn to their insurance company first to make claims, regardless of who was at fault.
Most PIP plans will only cover expenses to a certain amount, which may be far more than the minimum $10,000. In the event that the cost of medical care exceeds the covered amount, and your injuries are serious enough to meet the law’s “injury threshold,” you may want to file a lawsuit against the other driver.
Dogs are supposed to be “man’s best friend,” but it doesn’t always seem that way. Even dogs who are not known to be aggressive can deliver a bite apparently unprovoked.
In Florida, according to statute, a dog owner is liable for damages and injuries, regardless of whether the owner knew the dog was aggressive or had been aggressive in the past. There are exceptions, however. If the person bitten was doing something illegal at the time of the bite, or there was a prominently posted “bad dog” sign, the owner would not be liable. Dog owners are expected to follow Bay County Animal Control laws.
What Is Covered in a Personal Injury Claim
Injuries can include more than just physical problems, and the emotional wounds from an accident may never heal, particularly if you suffered trauma at the time of the accident or afterwards. A personal injury claim can cover both tangible and intangible costs, including:
- Medical bills: This may include any emergency medical care required in the immediate aftermath of the accident or ongoing treatment and care.
- Injury-related travel: If you or a loved one must be transported by ambulance for medical evacuation or care.
- Physical pain and suffering: Aside from the actual care you need to repair your body, you may need emotional or psychiatric care to repair your emotional well-being after a traumatic incident or if your injuries are permanent.
- Loss of job or income: While you are recovering you may be unable to work or generate income. Depending on your occupation and the nature of your injures, you may be permanently disabled and unable to work ever again.
A Bay County personal injury lawyer will fight on your behalf to get reimbursement for every aspect of your case.
What to Do in the Aftermath of an Injury
If you have been injured, it may be difficult to concentrate on what to do next, other than eliminating your pain and healing your injuries. However, as soon as possible you’ll want to take certain steps which can help preserve your right to make a claim:
- Collect the names and contact information for any witnesses to your accident. If one exists, get a copy of the police report.
- Make it known that you may file suit against those at fault and are planning to file a claim.
- If possible, collect evidence at the scene of the accident, including photos of any damage and the surroundings—particularly important in the event of a slip and fall accident.
- Make a journal of everything you’ve had to deal with in the aftermath of the accident, including medical or hospital bills and lost work or income.
No doubt if you or a loved one have been injured, your priority will be seeking medical care and getting your life back to normal. But taking steps to document the cause of your injuries and who was at fault are critically important to ensure you get the full compensation you deserve.
Contact a Bay County Personal Injury Lawyer
It is difficult to estimate the true cost of an injury when you factor in the toll to you and your loved ones’ emotional well-being. Simply covering medical costs and repairing any vehicle damage may not be enough, particularly if the injuries were caused by someone else’s negligence.
A personal injury lawyer can help you file a claim, and most importantly, get your life back on track. The Landau Law Group is a service-oriented litigation group with more than 20 years combined experience in cases like yours. Call 866-703-4878 today for a free case evaluation and learn about your best next steps.