If you’ve been injured in a car accident, a slip and fall incident, by a defective product, or any other type of common accident, you’re probably wondering whether or not you have a case. You can find out relatively quickly by speaking to a personal injury lawyer. In Florida, personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis, which means that you don’t have to pay for consultations or spend money upfront. Referral services like 1-800-Injured connect victims to this type of contingency fee car accident lawyers free of charge.
Elements of a Personal Injury Accident Case
Personal injury lawyers in Florida earn their commissions by negotiating cases or proving liability in court. They will only accept your case if they believe that it meets the criteria. The following are the four elements that qualify a personal injury case:
1. There must be an accident
Not every accident involves injuries and not every injury came from an accident. If your injury came from an accident or a condition you already had was exacerbated by an accident, it meets this criterion.
2. There must be negligence
In order for the case to be actionable, it’s important to identify the responsible party and show that there was negligence on their behalf. That may not necessarily be the individual who caused the accident. An insurer may be the responsible party.
3. There must be damages
The attorney must show that the plaintiff was injured by the accident and those injuries have caused some sort of articulable damages: medical bills, lost wages, or even pain and suffering.
4. There must be a legal duty of care
In order to be able to successfully sue someone, the personal injury lawyer must show that the party who was responsible for the accident had a legal duty of care. In other words, they were the party who should have prevented it.
If all four of these elements exist, you will likely have a personal injury case.
What You Should Do After an Accident
Your first priority should be your physical wellbeing. Do not delay medical care because you think it will adversely affect your case. The opposite is true. Your medical records can be used to show your injuries from an accident.
If there is a scene, such as in a car accident or a slip and fall situation, take pictures and videos of the scene, any visible damage, and your injuries. Your attorney can use this as documented evidence that you were hurt.If you’re approached by an insurance company claims adjuster, decline to answer questions until you’ve spoken to a personal injury lawyer. Refuse the initial offer and don’t sign a waiver of liability.
Contacting a Personal Injury Lawyer
If you believe you have an accident case, contact a personal injury lawyer at your earliest convenience. Feel free to ask questions and don’t commit unless you’re comfortable, but also don’t take too long making a decision. Accident scenes tend to change and witnesses sometimes become difficult to reach after too much time. Your attorney will want to get involved while the case is fresh to give you the best chance at a large settlement or jury award. Don’t delay.