Nestled along Florida’s southeastern coast, West Palm Beach boasts a unique blend of natural beauty and urban amenities. With its palm-lined streets, diverse culinary scene, and cultural attractions like the Norton Museum of Art and Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, it’s no wonder that many choose to call this city home.
Unfortunately, accidents resulting in personal injuries can happen in any location, including West Palm Beach. Whether it’s a slip-and-fall accident at a local establishment, a car crash on a busy road, or a boating accident in one of the many waterways, unforeseen accidents can disrupt lives and cause significant harm to injury victims.
When such accidents occur due to the negligence or wrongful actions of others, it may be necessary to seek legal recourse through a personal injury lawsuit to recover compensation for the damages suffered.
At Redondo Law, West Palm Beach accident attorney Mike Redondo believes that everyone deserves justice and compensation if they’ve been injured because of the negligent or wrongful actions of another. That’s why he’s dedicated his practice to fighting for the rights of injured West Palm Beach residents, helping them recover maximum compensation after an injury.
If your or a loved one has been injured or killed because of someone’s negligent or careless actions, contact Redondo Law to learn more about your legal options.
Types of personal injury lawsuits
Personal injury lawsuits encompass a wide range of accidents caused by the negligence of others. While car accidents often come to mind, there are various other types of personal injury lawsuits in which individuals may be eligible to seek compensation for their injuries and damages.
Some common examples include the following:
When car accidents occur due to speeding, distracted driving, drunk driving or other negligent behaviors that lead to serious injury,including traumatic brain injury, an accident victim may be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit.
Truck accidents can give rise to personal injury lawsuits when they occur due to various factors, including driver negligence, trucking company liability or defective truck equipment. Due to the large size and heavy weight of commercial trucks, these accidents often result in severe and life-long injuries.
Motorcycle accidents can be the basis for personal injury lawsuits when they’re caused by driver negligence, mechanical failures or other circumstances. Given the vulnerability of motorcyclists during accidents, victims frequently experience severe and catastrophic injuries, entitling them to pursue substantial compensation for medical expenses, rehabilitation costs and other damages incurred as a result.
Accidents that occur on waterways, including collisions between boats or other watercraft, incidents caused by reckless or intoxicated boaters, or injuries sustained during fishing activities, can give rise to personal injury lawsuits.
When pedestrians are injured in accidents involving vehicles due to a driver’s negligence, failure to yield or distracted driving, they have the option to file personal injury lawsuits. These cases typically involve significant injuries, and victims may be eligible for compensation to cover medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering and other damages resulting from the incident.
If individuals sustain injuries as a result of unsafe conditions on someone else’s property, such as slippery floors, uneven surfaces or poor maintenance, they have the option to pursue a premises liability claim to seek compensation for their injuries and any other damages associated with the incident.
Catastrophic injuries, including traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, severe burns and permanent disabilities, often require life-long medical care and greatly impact one’s quality of life. The purpose of these lawsuits is to obtain compensation for the victim’s extensive medical treatment, long-term care, rehabilitation and other damages resulting from the injury.
If someone’s negligent or intentional actions lead to the tragic death of another, the surviving family members have the option to file a wrongful death lawsuit. These legal actions aim to secure compensation for funeral expenses, loss of financial support, emotional distress and other damages arising from the wrongful death.
If a hospital or healthcare professional, including a doctor or nurse, fails to deliver an acceptable level of care, which subsequently leads to injuries or death of a patient, that patient or their family member may be entitled to substantial compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.
In the event that a consumer is harmed by a defective or hazardous product, they have the option to pursue a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer, distributor or retailer accountable for the design, manufacturing or warning defects associated with the product.
When an individual is bitten or attacked by a dog, the owner can be held responsible for the resulting injuries and emotional distress.
If residents of nursing homes or assisted living facilities experience physical, emotional or financial abuse or neglect, they or their families have the option to initiate a lawsuit, aiming to hold the facility accountable for their misconduct and pursue compensation for the harm inflicted.
Does Florida’s no-fault insurance prevent me from filing a lawsuit in Florida?
Many West Palm Beach residents are rightfully confused about their rights to file a lawsuit after a car, truck or motorcycle accident. While it’s true that you typically can’t file a lawsuit after an accident that only results in minor injuries, there are, in fact, times when you have the right to file a personal injury claim against the negligent party.
Let us explain:
In Florida, all drivers are legally required to purchase no-fault insurance, called personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, which is designed to provide coverage for medical expenses and lost wages regardless of who caused the car accident.
Under the PIP insurance system, you’re generally required to seek compensation for medical expenses and lost wages through your own insurance provider, regardless of fault. This means that for minor injuries, you won’t be able to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party.
However, Florida law does allow you to pursue a lawsuit for bodily injury if you meet the “serious injury” threshold. This means that your injuries must meet specific criteria defined by state law, indicating that you’ve suffered significant and permanent impairments or disabilities.
Examples of serious injuries include:
- Substantial and irreversible impairment of a vital bodily function
- Long-lasting injury with a high likelihood of permanence, as determined by medical analysis
- Considerable and enduring disfigurement or scarring
If your injuries meet the serious injury threshold, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party to seek additional compensation for your injuries beyond what is covered by PIP insurance.
What’s the burden of proof in personal injury cases?
In Florida personal injury cases, the burden of proof lies with the plaintiff, who is the injured party seeking compensation for their injuries. The burden of proof refers to the responsibility of the plaintiff to present sufficient evidence to convince the court or jury that the defendant is liable for their injuries. The standard of proof that must be met in personal injury cases is known as “the preponderance of the evidence.”
In Florida, the preponderance of the evidence standard means that the plaintiff must demonstrate that it is more likely than not (51% or greater probability) that the defendant’s negligence or wrongful actions caused their injuries. This standard is less demanding than the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard used in criminal cases.
How long does a personal injury lawsuit take in Florida?
The duration of a personal injury lawsuit in Florida can vary significantly depending on several factors, including the complexity of the case, the willingness of the parties to reach a settlement, the court’s schedule and other external factors.
It’s challenging to provide an exact timeframe as each case is unique. Some less-complex cases can be settled in a matter of months, while cases involving serious injuries or death can take a year or more.
How is pain and suffering calculated?
In Florida, calculating pain and suffering damages in a personal injury lawsuit is not a straightforward process. There’s no specific formula or standardized method for determining the monetary value of pain and suffering. Instead, it involves a subjective assessment based on various factors.
Here are some considerations that may affect how pain and suffering damages are calculated in Florida:
- Severity of injuries. The extent and severity of the injuries suffered by the plaintiff are crucial factors. More severe injuries that cause significant physical pain, long-lasting discomfort or permanent disability are likely to receive higher pain and suffering damages.
- Duration of pain and suffering. The length of time the plaintiff experiences pain and suffering is taken into account. Prolonged pain, chronic conditions or ongoing treatments that cause continued distress may result in higher damages.
- Impact on quality of life. The impact of the injuries on the plaintiff’s daily life, activities and enjoyment is considered. This includes limitations on hobbies, relationships, work or personal pursuits due to physical or emotional suffering.
- Medical evidence and expert testimony. Medical records, expert testimony, and other evidence are used to substantiate the extent of pain and suffering endured by the plaintiff. This can include reports from treating physicians, specialists, therapists or mental health professionals.
- Comparative negligence. Florida follows the principle of comparative negligence, which means the plaintiff’s own degree of fault can affect the damages awarded. If the plaintiff is found partially responsible for the accident or their injuries, it can potentially reduce the amount of pain and suffering damages awarded.
- Jury or judge’s discretion. Ultimately, the determination of pain and suffering damages is left to the discretion of the jury (in a jury trial) or the judge (in a bench trial). They consider the evidence presented and make a subjective judgment on what they believe is fair and reasonable compensation for the plaintiff’s pain and suffering.
Ultimately, pain and suffering damages can vary greatly from case to case, and there is no precise calculation. Consulting with a personal injury attorney who is familiar with Florida law and has experience in valuing pain and suffering damages can provide you with a better understanding of how your specific circumstances may influence the potential compensation you could receive.
Is there a cap on pain and suffering damages in Florida?
In Florida, there is typically no specific cap on the amount of damages that can be awarded for general pain and suffering in personal injury cases. However, it’s important to note that there is a limit of $500,000 in cases involving medical malpractice. This means that in medical malpractice lawsuits, the maximum amount that can be awarded for non-economic damages, including pain and suffering, is capped at $500,000.
How are personal injury settlements paid out in Florida?
In Florida, personal injury settlements are typically paid out through a structured process that involves several steps. Here is a general overview of how they’re paid out in Florida:
- Settlement agreement. Once a settlement is reached, a formal settlement agreement is drafted. This agreement outlines the terms and conditions of the settlement, including the agreed-upon amount, the release of liability, and any other relevant provisions.
- Release and waiver. In exchange for the settlement amount, the injured party is typically required to sign a release and waiver. This document releases the responsible party and their insurer from any further liability related to the accident or injury.
- Processing the payment. After the settlement agreement is finalized, the responsible party or their insurance company will process the payment. This may involve issuing a check or arranging for a wire transfer to the injured party or their attorney.
- Attorney’s fees and expenses. Once the settlement funds are received, the attorney’s fees and any outstanding expenses related to the case are deducted. The attorney’s fees are typically based on a previously agreed-upon percentage of the settlement amount.
- Distribution of funds. After deducting the attorney’s fees and expenses, the remaining settlement funds are distributed to the injured party. The distribution is typically made according to the agreed-upon terms, which may include paying outstanding medical bills, reimbursing any liens or subrogation claims and providing the remaining funds to the injured party.
Contact an experienced West Palm Beach personal injury attorney
If you suffered an injury due to someone else’s negligence in West Palm Beach, you need a skilled personal injury attorney by your side to ensure your rights are protected. At Redondo Law, attorney Mike Redondo has the experience you need and the compassion you deserve to help you recover maximum compensation for your injuries.
To better help his clients and increase access for anyone who’s been injured in an accident, Mike speaks both Spanish and English and is happy to offer a free, comprehensive evaluation to potential clients.
Contact us today so we can help you get the compensation and justice you deserve.