I am a Florida Bar recognized specialist in personal injury and wrongful death. It is my intent to provide my clients with the most money possible; that is why my fee percentage is usually lower than most other attorneys.
Personal injury cases are usually handled by lawyers on a contingency fee basis; that is if there is no recovery for the plaintiff then there is no fee paid to the lawyer. Many lawyers also waive any costs advanced, like filing fees, deposition fees, investigation fees and other expenses, if no damages are obtained for the plaintiff.
Lawyers are allowed to charge a fee up to 40% of the amount recovered once an answer is served by the defendant. At my firm the fee is never more than 33 1/3 % until preparation for trial begins and I do not charge a fee or bill for costs if a recovery has not been obtained.
Personal injury is a legal term for an injury to the body, mind or emotions, as opposed to an injury to property. The term is most commonly used to refer to a type of tort lawsuit alleging that the plaintiff's injury has been caused by the negligence of another. There are also intentional torts like assault or battery and defamation among others, however, most tort claims are a result of an unintentional act that causes an injury.
The most common types of personal injury claims are automobile collisions, accidents at work, tripping/slipping accidents, and product defect accidents (product liability). The term personal injury can also include medical and dental accidents but these are specialty areas and have legal prerequisites that must be performed before filing a claim.
If the negligence of another party can be proved, the injured party may be entitled to monetary compensation from the negligent party or parties. In order to prevail in a lawsuit the plaintiff (the injured party) must show that the defendant (the negligent party) had a legal duty and breached that duty, that the defendant’s action, or lack thereof, was the proximate cause of plaintiff’s injury and that the plaintiff suffered damages as a result of that breach of duty.
The plaintiff can sue for different types of damages including past and future medical bills, past and future loss of income and, usually most significantly, pain and suffering in the past and in the future. A complaint must be filed within a certain period of time, determined by the statute of limitations. There are different periods depending on the wrong committed but in the case of a personal injury in Florida the complaint must be filed within four years from the date of the injury or the right to sue is lost.
Wrongful death claims arise from the negligent or intentional acts of another person or entity that result in the death of a person. Only certain related persons or dependents (plaintiffs) are entitled to bring such a lawsuit as determined by statute. In order to succeed in a wrongful death claim the plaintiff must prove that the death was caused by the negligent or intentional act of another and that the plaintiff suffered damages. The claim for damages can include loss of benefits from the deceased like expenses associated with the death, loss of support, loss of future earnings and even pain and suffering. These cases are usually handled on a contingency fee basis, the same as personal injury cases described above.
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