Accidents happen, and people get injured when they least expect it. A large percentage of injuries could have been avoided had people around us were more careful. Everyone has a duty to avoid causing harm to others. Unfortunately, many people breach that duty and end up causing serious and life-changing injuries to others.
Florida has personal injury laws to protect those who are injured due to someone else’s negligence. If you were injured in the Orlando area, contact an Orlando personal injury attorney who will help you navigate the legal system and obtain financial compensation on your behalf.
When Our Orlando Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help
At Zimmet & Zimmet, our experienced personal injury lawyers Ronald Zimmet Sr and Ronald Zimmet Jr have over 40 years of experience handling civil cases involving injuries. Our Orlando personal injury lawyers handle a variety of personal injury matters, including but not limited to:
- Car crashes
- Pedestrian accidents
- Truck wrecks
- Motorcycle collisions
- Bicycle crashes
- Boat accidents
- Amusement park accidents
- Swimming pool accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Nursing home abuse
- Wrongful death
Our personal injury lawyers at Zimmet & Zimmet will protect your legal rights and pursue the compensation you deserve, helping you avoid unnecessary stress and allowing you to focus on what is most important to you: recovery.
Related Article: Orlando Car Accidents: Do You Know What To Do?
How to Prove Negligence in an Orlando Personal Injury Claim?
Under the Florida Statutes Section 768.81, in order to prevail in a personal injury claim, a plaintiff must prove that the other party acted negligently and that the victim was harmed due to their negligence. Plaintiffs must prove three elements to establish negligence in a claim:
- Duty of care
- Breach of duty
Duty of Care
Generally, people have a duty to avoid causing harm to others. For example, when operating a motor vehicle, a driver has an obligation to drive the vehicle safely. This would require the motorist to follow all traffic laws and exercise due care on the road to avoid causing a car accident.
Breach of Duty
Once you can establish that the defendant owed you a duty of care, the next step is proving that the defendant breached that duty due to their negligence. If a person is operating a vehicle, they may breach a duty of care if they fail to fulfill a legal obligation to drive safely (e.g., they get distracted by their phone or drive above the speed limit).
Finally, now that you have proven that (a) the other party owed you a duty of care and (b) they breached it, you need to establish a link between the defendant’s negligence and your injuries. For example, if you suffered a spinal cord injury in a car crash that was caused by a distracted driver, you can prove that the defendant’s negligence led to the accident that resulted in your injury.
Related Article: What Happens If My Personal Injury Claim Goes To Court In Orlando?
What is the Personal Injury Claims Process?
Since every personal injury case is unique, there is no way to estimate how long it will take you to settle it. However, a skilled personal injury lawyer in Orlando can give you a rough estimate after evaluating the facts surrounding your case.
While the timeline of your personal injury case will depend on its complexity, the claims process will involve the following steps:
- Gathering evidence to establish negligence;
- Filing a personal injury claim and putting all the parties involved on notice that you are seeking recovery;
- Negotiating a settlement offer with the help of a lawyer;
- If the other party is not willing to negotiate or negotiations have failed, filing a lawsuit against the liable party;
- Litigating your personal injury case in court to prove that you deserve compensation; and
- Going to court or trying alternative dispute resolution options to settle outside of the courtroom.
How Long Do You Have to File a Personal Injury Claim?
Under the Florida Statutes Section 95.11, injured individuals have four years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim. However, the statute of limitations is shorter for cases that result in wrongful death (two years) and medical malpractice (also two years).
While four years might seem like a long time, it would not be wise to wait or delay the claims process. After all, it takes a while to have your personal injury attorney evaluate your case, gather all the necessary evidence, and prepare the paperwork, not to mention that some pieces of evidence are time-sensitive.
Related Article: Should I Hire An Orlando Personal Injury Lawyer?
What Damages Can You Recover in a Personal Injury Case?
The types of damages that will be available in your personal injury case depend on the circumstances of your claim. However, in many cases, victims are able to recover the following types of economic (tangible) and non-economic (non-tangible) damages:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Loss of income
- Diminished earning capacity
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Disability, impairment, and disfigurement damages
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of companionship or consortium
- Punitive damages (under the Florida Statute Section 768.72, punitive damages are only recoverable in personal injury cases where the conduct of the defendant qualifies as either “intentional misconduct” or “gross negligence”)
10 Benefits of Hiring an Orlando Personal Injury Lawyer
While you have a right to represent yourself, there are several good reasons to hire a personal injury lawyer for your negligence-based claim. The benefits of hiring a personal injury attorney are:
- They know how the legal system works
- They are objective and help you make reasonable decisions
- They have experience in handling similar claims
- They know how to negotiate and will not settle for less than what their client deserves
- They can evaluate how much your personal injury claim is worth
- They can help you identify all available sources of compensation
- They can expedite the claims process because they have done it thousands of times
- They will communicate with insurance companies and handle the paperwork while you focus on your recovery
- They will represent you and stand up for your rights in and outside of the courtroom
- They don’t get paid unless they win (most personal injury lawyers in Florida work on a contingency fee basis)
How Much Does It Cost to Hire an Orlando Personal Injury Lawyer?
While the cost of hiring a lawyer depends on the complexity of your case and numerous other factors, the Florida Bar regulates attorney’s fees. More specifically, it regulates the percentage that personal injury lawyers are allowed to take for providing their legal services.
According to the Florida Bar’s official website, a lawyer cannot charge more than the amounts below unless they have obtained prior court approval to do so:
- More than 33 1/3% of any recovery up to $1 million for personal injury cases settled before the filing of an Answer to the lawsuit; or
- More than 40% of any recovery up to $1 million for personal injury cases settled after the filing of an Answer or through the entry of a judgment.
How to Prepare for a Free Consultation with a Personal Injury Attorney?
Our attorneys at Zimmet & Zimmet offer a free consultation for personal injury clients because we know the last thing you need right now is another bill.
If you have been injured and believe that someone else’s negligence, intentional act, or carelessness caused your accident, do not hesitate to schedule a free consultation with our Orlando personal injury lawyers.
During the free consultation, our lawyers will ask you specific questions to get an understanding of how your injury occurred, whether another party can be held responsible, and how much your case is worth. For this reason, it is vital that you bring all relevant documents, records, and paperwork to your first meeting with our lawyers.
The documents that will help us get a better understanding of your personal injury case include:
- A copy of the police report;
- Photos and videos from the scene of the accident;
- Any correspondence you have received from insurance companies or the other party’s attorney;
- Your medical records;
- Receipts and paystubs that demonstrate the loss of income;
- Contact information for any witnesses; and
- A detailed description of when and how your injury occurred.
Your Orlando personal injury lawyer will review this information and determine whether you can pursue a claim to recover damages. An attorney will advise you on your options and determine how much your claim is worth.
During the free consultation, you will have an opportunity to ask a lawyer questions about your case and find out about their experience handling similar cases. To make the most out of your free consultation with an attorney, come prepared and bring all the relevant documents related to your case.
Everything you say to an attorney is confidential. Do not forget to take notes, and do not be afraid to ask questions during the consultation. And remember: you do not have to pay for the free consultation. In fact, you pay nothing until our Orlando personal injury attorney wins your case.
Schedule a free consultation with our lawyers at Zimmet & Zimmet to discuss your particular case. Call at 386-255-6400 or fill out this contact form.
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