Pompano Beach Personal Injury Attorney
Accidents and injuries can happen suddenly and without any kind of warning. No matter how much we think we are prepared for the unexpected, a serious accident can be life-changing, requiring extensive medical treatment and resulting in disabilities that limit an injury victim’s ability to work. At Boone & Davis, our experienced Pompano Beach personal injury attorneys know how critical it is to seek and obtain financial compensation after a serious accident. Although money cannot fully make up for the losses you have experienced, from the pain you have gone through or the time you have lost, financial compensation can give you monetary support you need to begin recovering and to get back on your feet.
Nobody should have to go through the overwhelming and traumatic experience of a serious personal injury, but our firm can guide you through the necessary steps to seek the compensation you need and deserve.
What is Personal Injury Law?
Personal injury law is a very broad area of the law in Florida, and it includes a wide variety of accidents and injuries. The key feature of all personal injury cases is that a person has sustained an injury and another party is liable. In such circumstances, the law recognizes that the injured person has a right to file a lawsuit in order to seek financial compensation from the at-fault party.
In Florida, personal injury cases can be brought under various theories of liability. A majority of personal injury lawsuits will be based on a theory of negligence, which requires the plaintiff to prove the following elements:
- Defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care;
- Defendant breached the duty of care by acting negligently;
- Defendant’s negligence caused the plaintiff’s injuries; and
- Plaintiff suffered actual harm as a result of the injuries and the defendant’s breach of the duty of care.
These elements will become more specific in each type of personal injury lawsuit, particularly when it comes to proving that the defendant was negligent. For example, proving negligence in a medical malpractice claim is much different from proving negligence in a premises liability lawsuit. In addition to negligence, some personal injury cases will be brought based on a theory of strict liability.
With strict liability, a defendant is liable for injuries regardless of intent or negligence. Typically, personal injury cases in Florida brought on a theory of strict liability are dog bite claims or product defect lawsuits. The required elements that must be proven will depend upon the type of personal injury case.
Types of Personal Injury Cases We Handle in Pompano Beach
At Boone & Davis, we handle a wide variety of personal injury cases in Pompano Beach, including but not limited to the following:
- Auto Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Truck Accidents
- Wrongful Death
- BJs injuries
- Burn injuries
- Catastrophic injuries
- Complex regional pain & reflex sympathetic dystrophy
- Construction accidents
- Costco injuries
- CVS injuries
- Cruise ship accidents
- Defective drug claims
- Dog bites
- Galleria mall injuries
- Home depot injuries
- Lowe’s injuries
- Medical malpractice
- Premises liability cases
- Publix injuries
- Sawgrass injuries
- Slips and falls
- Spinal cord injuries
- Target injuries
- Theme park accidents
- Trampoline accidents
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Walgreens injuries
If you have experienced another type of accident or injury not included, you should know that our firm serves clients in many different types of personal injury cases and can speak with you today about your circumstances.
Understanding Different Kinds of Pompano Beach Personal Injury Cases
Depending upon the type of personal injury claim you have, you may need to begin the claims process by filing an insurance claim. For example, with car accident and truck accident injury cases, since Florida is a no-fault state, you must start the process of seeking compensation by filing an auto insurance claim. Then, if you can prove that you meet the serious injury threshold required to file a lawsuit in a no-fault state like Florida, you can move forward with a civil lawsuit against the liable party or parties. Some other types of injuries also may involve insurance claims (although an insurance claim may not be necessary), such as a premises liability injury from a slip and fall or a dog bite injury.
Other types of injuries can begin with a lawsuit, even if you may be able to seek compensation through an insurance claim as well. Yet different types of personal injury lawsuits have distinct requirements, and it is important to seek advice from a personal injury lawyer in Pompano Beach about the requirements to move forward with your claim. Whether you file an insurance claim, a lawsuit, or both, it is critical to have one of our Pompano Beach injury attorneys on your side to advocate for your right to compensation at every stage of the claims process.
Personal Injury Versus Wrongful Death in Pompano Beach
What is the difference between a personal injury and a wrongful death lawsuit under Florida law? Personal injury and wrongful death claims are closely related to one another, and personal injury lawyers represent clients in wrongful death lawsuits. There are key distinctions between personal injury and wrongful death claims that you should understand.
In a personal injury lawsuit, Florida law recognizes that an injured person should have the right to file a claim to seek financial compensation from the party who is responsible for the injuries. Yet in a wrongful death case, the deceased is not alive any longer to file that claim on his or her own behalf. As such, the law allows the personal representative of the deceased’s estate to metaphorically step into the deceased’s shoes and to file a lawsuit against the liable party.
Damages are similar in personal injury and wrongful death cases, but the surviving family members in a wrongful death lawsuit will typically be the ones who receive any damages, and those damages can include added burial and funeral costs, as well as compensation for loss of the deceased’s companionship and other similar losses. The statute of limitations is also different from personal injury to wrongful death lawsuits. Most personal injury lawsuits have a four-year statute of limitations, and that time window starts on the date of the injury. Differently, wrongful death lawsuits usually have a two-year statute of limitations, and that time window starts on the date of the deceased’s death.
Steps to Take After a Personal Injury in Pompano Beach, Florida
What steps should you take after a personal injury in Pompano Beach? The specific steps will depend upon the nature of the accident or injury, but generally speaking you should:
- Document the injury, including where and how it happened with photographs and witness information;
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible, including an assessment for any injuries that may not have produced immediate symptoms; and
- Hire a personal injury lawyer in Pompano Beach to assist you with your insurance claim or your lawsuit.
Damages in a Pompano Beach Personal Injury Lawsuit
Damages in a Pompano Beach personal injury lawsuit will depend upon the specific facts of your case and your particular losses. In general, personal injury lawsuits may include:
- Compensatory damages, which include both economic and non-economic damages to compensate a plaintiff for losses such as medical bills, lost earnings, pain or suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life; and
- Punitive damages, which are uncommon in injury cases under Florida law but may be awarded when the defendant was grossly negligent.
You should have a personal injury lawyer in Pompano Beach evaluate your case today to help you understand the types of damages you may be eligible to receive.
Pompano Beach Comparative Fault: How Can it Affect Your Case?
What is comparative fault, and how can it affect your case? Comparative fault is an affirmative defense that a defendant may raise to avoid paying the full amount of damages awarded by the court or to avoid paying damages altogether. With a comparative fault defense, the defendant says that the plaintiff is also partially at fault for the accident that caused her injuries, or for the severity of her injuries. Since different states have very different comparative fault laws, it is important to understand how this law works in Florida.
Florida has a “pure comparative fault” rule, which means that a plaintiff can recover damages if she is anywhere from 1 percent to 99 percent at fault. This rule is different from other states that bar a plaintiff from damages once the plaintiff is 50 or 51 percent at fault (“modified comparative fault” states), or very strict states that bar a plaintiff from recovery if the plaintiff is even 1 percent at fault (“pure contributory negligence” states).
In Florida, if a plaintiff is determined to be partially at fault, that plaintiff will not be barred from recovery. Instead, the plaintiff’s damages award will be diminished by his or her portion of the fault. For example, if a plaintiff is awarded $100,000 in damages and is found to be 10 percent at fault, then 10 percent of the damages award (10 percent of $100,000 = $10,000) would be taken from the award, and the plaintiff would recover $90,000. This same formula applies regardless of the plaintiff’s percentage of fault, as long as the plaintiff is 99 percent or less at fault.
Statute of Limitations in a Pompano Beach Personal Injury Lawsuit
Most personal injury lawsuits in Florida have a four-year statute of limitations. The “clock” on the statute of limitations will usually begin ticking on the date of the person’s injury, and that clock will run for four years. When the clock runs out, the claim will become a time-barred claim under Florida law. In most cases, a plaintiff should not expect that it will be possible to pause or “toll” the statute of limitations, and it is rare for a plaintiff to be able to obtain compensation for injuries after the statute of limitations has run out.
There are some exceptions to the four-year statute of limitations. In cases involving claims against the government or a government entity (such as claims that occur on public property or in a government building), the statute of limitations may be only three years from the date of the injury with required action beforehand.
In cases involving a wrongful death, the statute of limitations is only two years, but the clock starts ticking on the date of the deceased’s death (as opposed to the date that the deceased’s injury occurred). Depending upon the particular facts of a case, the date of death may be the same date as the injury, or it may be several weeks, months, or even years following the date of the injury if the deceased initially survived an accident but later succumbed to the injuries.
Medical malpractice cases can sometimes have an extended statute of limitations. Under Florida law, for medical malpractice injuries that could not have reasonably been discovered or known about immediately, the plaintiff has two years from the date the injury was discovered (or reasonably should have been discovered) to file a lawsuit. Common cases in which the extended timeline may apply include cases of delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis, or surgical injury claims in which a foreign object was left inside the patient’s body and did not produce immediate symptoms.
Contact a Pompano Beach Personal Injury Attorney Today
When you have been injured in a serious accident in Pompano Beach or have lost a loved one because of another party’s careless or reckless behavior, it is essential to seek advice from a Pompano Beach personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Our firm has years of experience representing injury victims and their families, and we have been serving clients for more than 40 years in South Florida. We are committed to providing you with experienced and tailored representation, and we will work tirelessly to help you obtain the financial compensation you need and deserve. Accidents and injuries in South Florida can be devastating, but our team can help you to hold the liable party accountable and to seek compensation that can help you to recover. Contact Boone & Davis today for more information about our services.