Ocala Personal Injury FAQ
Were you injured in an accident or other incident in Ocala, Florida? If so, you might be able to hold the responsible party accountable for your monetary losses and suffering by filing a personal injury claim.
If you’re in this situation, you likely have many questions regarding your rights, options, and the compensation you can seek. Here, we answer questions our Ocala personal injury lawyers frequently receive.
Contact our law office if you want to learn more about filing a personal injury claim or if you have further questions.
What Is a Personal Injury Claim?
A personal injury claim is a civil matter that arises when a party’s actions cause harm to someone else. The victim (plaintiff) can file a personal injury claim against the at-fault party (defendant) to recover compensation for the losses caused by the defendant’s actions.
Most of these cases originate due to negligence. The injured plaintiff has the burden of proving each element of negligence, including:
- The defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff
- The defendant breached their duty of care by failing to exercise reasonable caution (this is measured by what a reasonable person would’ve done under the circumstances)
- The breach directly and proximately caused the plaintiff harm
- The plaintiff sustained damages
If you’ve suffered injuries due to another person’s actions in Ocala, FL, you may have a valid claim. Contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss what happened and determine if you can seek compensation.
What Are Common Types of Personal Injury Cases in Florida?
A personal injury case can arise from all types of accidents and incidents that cause harm, including:
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Truck accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Boating accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Slip and fall accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Dog bites
- Nursing home abuse
- Wrongful death
- Defective products (product liability)
- And more
Regardless of how you were hurt, you may be entitled to compensation for the damages you’ve incurred.
How Much Is My Personal Injury Case Worth?
Every personal injury claim is unique: from case to case, the victims, injuries, and accidents are all different.
Accordingly, the value of your case will depend on many different factors, such as:
- The severity of your injuries and whether they will cause a permanent disability or impairment
- The medical expenses and out-of-pocket costs you’ve incurred and will incur in the future
- The strength of your evidence and ability to prove your case
- The time you’ve missed from work and whether you’re able to work in the same capacity as before the accident
- The impact of your injuries on your quality of life
- The pain, suffering, and emotional trauma you’ve endured
- Whether you share fault for causing the accident
- The parties and available insurance coverage involved in your case
The severity of your injuries will typically be the most significant factor in how much your case is worth. The more severe your injuries – and the more they impact your everyday life – the more you’ll be able to seek from the at-fault party.
What Compensation Is Available in a Florida Personal Injury Case?
Florida accident victims may be entitled to economic (monetary) and non-economic (personal and hard-to-value) damages.
Economic damages could include:
- Past medical costs, like ER bills, doctor’s visits, and treatment
- Future and ongoing healthcare costs, such as surgeries, physical therapy, and rehabilitation
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Lost wages
- Diminished earning capacity
- Property damage
Non-economic damages could include:
- Pain and suffering
- Lost quality of life
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
The court might award punitive damages if the defendant acted intentionally or grossly negligent. Punitive damages punish people for particularly bad behavior.
How Can an Ocala Personal Injury Lawyer Help Me With My Case?
An experienced Ocala personal injury attorney can protect your rights and ensure you recover an amount that fully compensates you for your injuries.
Here are just a few legal services you can expect an attorney to provide:
- Investigating your accident, including how it happened, who caused it, and who may share liability
- Explaining your legal rights and options and ensuring that you understand the impact of your decisions
- Advising and communicating with you, answering any questions you may have
- Gathering evidence proving every element of your case, including the value of your damages
- Consulting leading experts to bolster your case and explain any complexities
- Handling all communications and administrative tasks in your case
- Negotiating on your behalf throughout the life of the case
- Fighting against any insurance tactics that serve to undermine or undervalue your claim
- Representing you in court proceedings (e.g., motions) and at trial, if out-of-court negotiations fail to yield a positive result
Most personal injury cases settle outside of the courtroom. However, if they go to trial, an experienced personal injury lawyer will be prepared to argue for you to get the compensation you need and deserve.
How Much Does It Cost To Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer in Florida?
Most personal injury attorneys in Ocala and throughout Florida work on a contingency fee basis. Under this arrangement, a personal injury victim can hire an experienced attorney without paying any upfront costs.
The lawyer will only get paid attorney’s fees if they secure a favorable settlement or verdict for their client. At the conclusion of a successful case, the attorney will deduct their fees and expenses from their client’s awarded compensation.
The attorney’s fees are typically between 33 and 40% but depend largely on the complexity of the case, whether it goes to trial, and other factors.
If you schedule a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer, be sure to ask them about their contingency fee agreement and what you can expect. Don’t sign anything until you fully understand the terms and conditions.
What Is the Deadline To File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Florida?
Florida law sets statutes of limitations to limit the amount of time personal injury victims have to file a claim for damages. Most personal injury cases based on negligence must be filed within four years of the accident date. However, there are exceptions.
For example, wrongful death claims in Florida must be filed within two years of the decedent’s date of death. Claims involving children or injuries that aren’t discovered until a later date may also have different deadlines.
If you miss the statute of limitations that applies in your case, you’ll lose the ability to seek compensation through a civil lawsuit. It’s essential to meet with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to preserve your legal rights and to hold the accountable party liable for your losses.
Contact Our Ocala Personal Injury Lawyers If You Have Questions or Need Assistance
Personal injury cases can be complex, time-consuming, and difficult to maneuver. An Ocala personal injury attorney will know the civil justice system, how insurance companies think, and how to fight for fair compensation.