If you’ve been hurt in an accident in Jacksonville, Florida, you probably have a lot of questions about your rights as a victim and what legal options you may have.
Since 2012, our Jacksonville personal injury lawyers have been fierce advocates for injury victims and families across Northeast Florida, helping them navigate the complicated claims process and win millions in life-changing compensation.
Here are some of the questions we’re asked most often during initial consultations and by our clients. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our law office in Jacksonville, FL, to arrange a free case evaluation to discuss the specifics of your personal injury case to learn more.
What’s a Personal Injury Case?
Personal injury cases are based on tort law. A tort is an act or omission that causes another person to get hurt.
In a personal injury claim, the victim (the plaintiff) seeks monetary damages from the person responsible for their injuries (the defendant).
Most personal injury cases in Florida are based on the tort of negligence. Negligence means that one person owes another a duty of care, fails to uphold it, and causes an injury resulting in damages.
Negligence is the leading cause of action for personal injury cases involving:
- Car accidents and other motor vehicle accidents
- Slip and fall accidents and other types of premises liability matters
- Construction accidents
- Wrongful death
- Medical malpractice
- Nursing home abuse and neglect, and more.
Other personal injury cases are based on strict liability. Strict liability means that a party can be financially responsible for an injury or trauma regardless of the level of care they exercise. Strict liability is most often relevant in the context of product liability and dog bite cases.
Manufacturers of defective products and dog owners could be held accountable for injuries and deaths resulting from their products or pets, even if they tried to keep victims safe.
If you believe that you’ve been injured because of another person’s actions, it’s important to discuss your situation with an experienced Jacksonville personal injury attorney. Our legal team would be happy to review your case and offer some preliminary guidance about your legal options.
How Much Money Is My Personal Injury Case Worth?
Every personal injury case is unique. Victims are different. So are the circumstances surrounding their accidents and injuries. As a result, the value will vary significantly from one situation to the next.
However, there are many factors that will be relevant in assessing how much money your personal injury case may be worth, including:
- The types of injuries you’ve suffered
- Whether you’re expected to make a full physical recovery
- How old you were at the time of your accident
- Your projected lost income and wages
- The psychological impact of your accident and resulting trauma
- Whether you share responsibility for your accident
Typically, bigger changes to your life equal higher damages.
You’ll need to speak directly with an experienced attorney about the details of your situation. Contact Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers to arrange a time for your free case assessment today.
What Does It Cost to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer in Florida?
Personal injury lawyers in Florida work on a contingency fee basis. You pay nothing up front to get the legal representation you need. Instead, your attorney assumes the financial risks of litigation on your behalf.
Confident that they will win your case, they move forward and fight to get you the money that you deserve. If your attorney wins your case, they recover a pre-agreed-upon percentage of your financial award. This is usually somewhere between 33% and 40%.
However, the specific fee will depend on things like how complex your case is, projected financial recovery, attorney experience and specialization, and geographic location.
What Compensation Can Be Awarded if I File a Personal Injury Claim?
There are two main types of damages that are usually awarded in personal injury cases in Jacksonville: economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are paid to offset the monetary costs and losses associated with your accident and trauma.
- The cost of hospitalization and other current medical expenses
- Future medical care and medical bills
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Lost wages, income, and benefits
- Reduced earning capacity
- Temporary and or permanent disability
- Property damage
- Nursing care and assistance
- Other out-of-pocket costs
Noneconomic damages are intended to compensate victims for the hard-to-value pain and suffering they experience because of an accident.
- Chronic physical pain
- Reduced quality of life
- Reduced life enjoyment
- Loss of consortium
- Emotional distress, including depression and anxiety
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Disfigurement and scarring
Sometimes punitive damages may also be available. However, these are only awarded in situations where a defendant acts intentionally or with gross negligence.
What’s the Deadline for Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Florida?
The statute of limitations for most personal injury lawsuits in the state of Florida is four years. This gives you four years from the date of your accident or when you discover your injury to file a claim for damages.
There are times when other limits will apply:
- Wrongful death lawsuits are subject to a two-year time limit
- Medical malpractice lawsuits have a two-year statute of limitations
- Product liability claims are subject to a 12-year statute of repose, which bars claims after 12 years from the first time a product is purchased (regardless of whether an injury is discovered within that period)
- Government claims are subject to a three-year time limit
- Children will have two years from the date of their 18th birthday to file a personal injury claim
- Birth injury claims must be filed by the time a child turns eight years old
You do not want to miss the deadline that applies to your specific personal injury case. Once time expires, you forfeit the right to file a lawsuit and recover the damages you rightfully deserve.
Will I Still Have a Case If I’m Partly to Blame For My Accident in Florida?
Yes, as long as someone else shares responsibility, too. Florida is one of many states to operate under a pure comparative negligence system. Anyone who contributes to an accident, including victims, shares responsibility for resulting damages.
If you suffer damages and share fault, your financial award will simply be adjusted to reflect your role in the accident.
Let’s say you are assigned 50% fault for a motorcycle accident in Jacksonville. Your case is valued at $1 Million. Once your negligence is factored in, you can recover $500,000 in damages.
Be prepared for insurance companies and other parties to try to blame you for your accident, even if there is very little evidence to support those allegations. The more fault you share, the less money you’ll ultimately be able to recover.
Hiring an attorney who understands these strategies and how to defend you will help you maximize your recovery.
How Long Will My Florida Personal Injury Case Take?
It’s really up to you.
Cases that settle can be resolved in a matter of weeks or months.
Cases that go to trial have to go through the judicial system, which will involve court filings, discovery, investigations, hearings, and ultimately a trial. This process can take a year or more to complete, depending on the circumstances.
How long it takes for your case to resolve will depend on how clear liability is, the parties’ willingness to settle, and whether you are offered a reasonable settlement for your injuries and suffering.
Are you open to settling, or do you think you’ll get a better result at trial? Our insurance company is trying to lowball you, or are they negotiating fairly?
These are things you’ll have to consider when deciding whether to accept a deal or push forward to trial for a potentially better result. Our award-winning Jacksonville personal injury attorneys will be there to help you work through these difficult decisions every step of the way.
Our goal will be to help you recover all of the compensation you deserve in a reasonable timeframe. But we will never sacrifice the quality of our representation or leave money on the table just to get a quick deal. We want to make sure that you are set up financially and get every cent you’ll need to move forward with your life.
Contact Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers to Discuss Your Personal Injury FAQs
Hiring an attorney is one of the best things you can do after getting hurt in an avoidable accident in Jacksonville, Florida.
Not only does it increase the odds of winning your case, but it also says you are up to maximizing your financial recovery. One study found that people who hire personal injury attorneys can win up to 3.5 times as much as those who handle their claims themselves.
It’s not just about hiring just any attorney. It’s about hiring the best attorney for your specific personal injury case. That’s why Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers should be your first call.
Reach out to our Jacksonville personal injury lawyers with any questions you have and schedule a time for a free consultation. Our team is always standing by to take your call at (904) 396-1100.