After an accident, there is a lot to do. You have to talk to the police (in some situations), insurance adjusters, and more. In some situations, you must do all this while recovering from injuries.
You may wonder if you have a viable personal injury claim. If you don’t know what is considered when evaluating these cases, you may not know if you are entitled to compensation.
At Joe Horrox Law, we want to ensure our clients are informed and know their rights and legal options. Here, you can learn more about what is evaluated when looking at personal injury cases or call our office to speak to our knowledgeable team.
Liability refers to one party’s legal responsibility for harm suffered by another. In personal injury cases, determining liability is crucial, as it pinpoints who is at fault and should compensate the injured party.
The foundation for determining liability rests on evidence. This might include photographs from the accident scene, witness testimonies, video surveillance, or police reports. Collecting thorough and accurate evidence helps paint a clear picture of what transpired.
Many jurisdictions, including Florida, adopt the comparative negligence approach. The liability is split proportionally if both parties share some fault in the incident. So, if you’re 20% at fault, you can only claim 80% of the total damages from the other party.
Sometimes, the nature of the incident requires specialized knowledge to decipher liability. For instance, expert witnesses might be called upon in medical malpractice or complex car accidents. Their professional insights can be pivotal in clarifying the events and assigning fault.
The Severity of the Injury
Not all injuries are created equal. A sprained wrist and a broken leg will have different medical expenses, recovery times, and impacts on your daily life. The more severe the injury, the higher the compensation might be.
Losses and Damages
After liability, your losses and damages must be evaluated. This is done to determine how much your case is worth.
Medical expenses are costs incurred as a result of an injury or illness. They encompass a wide range of healthcare-related charges. This includes hospital stays, surgeries, doctor’s visits, medications, rehabilitation services, and equipment like crutches or wheelchairs.
Medical expenses can quickly accumulate after an accident or injury, causing financial strain. When filing a personal injury claim, keeping a detailed record of all medical costs is essential, as they form a significant portion of the compensation sought. These expenses cover past bills and can account for anticipated future medical care stemming from the injury.
Lost wages refer to the income an individual loses due to their inability to work after an accident or injury. It’s not just about the immediate aftermath; if an injury leads to prolonged or permanent disability, lost wages can factor in future earnings the individual can no longer earn.
When calculating lost wages, one should consider the days of work missed, bonuses, promotions, and other benefits. It serves as a tangible measure of an injury’s financial impact on a person’s livelihood and overall quality of life.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering go beyond the tangible costs of an injury. It represents the physical pain, mental anguish, emotional distress, and overall reduction in the quality of life experienced by a victim post-accident.
Factors such as the severity of pain, duration of suffering, and the emotional toll are considered. While medical bills and lost wages can be calculated with relative precision, pain and suffering are more subjective. It’s often assessed based on testimony, psychological evaluations, and the overall impact of the injury on the individual’s daily life.
The Defendant’s Actions
The court might award punitive damages if the defendant’s actions were reckless or intentional. These are designed to punish the defendant rather than compensate the victim.
Florida’s Statute of Limitations
In Florida, the clock is ticking from the moment you’re injured. You must file a personal injury claim four years from the accident date. If you don’t file within this period, you might lose your right to compensation.
Navigating Your Personal Injury Claim
Understanding what’s considered while evaluating a personal injury claim can make the process less intimidating. If you’re in Daytona Beach or any part of Florida, being equipped with this knowledge can provide a smoother journey through the legal proceedings.
Remember, every case is unique. Consulting with a professional like Joe Horrox Law can provide tailored advice for your situation. We offer a free consultation to discuss your claim. Call today to learn what rights and legal options you have.