Personal Injury FAQ
Our West Palm Beach personal injury lawyers at Greenberg, Stone & Urbano collectively have been pursuing financial compensation for clients injured by accidental and intentional misconduct of individuals, public entities and businesses for over a hundred years. At our law firm, we practice law based on the premise that our clients are more than a "client file" or "personal injury case;" they are parents, siblings, children and long-time friends of their loved ones. When our Florida personal injury attorneys take on wrongful individuals and entities and their insurance companies, we have the tenacity, commitment and experience to pursue the best outcome for those we represent.
Because we have represented thousands of injury victims during our many decades representing personal injury victims and families of wrongful death victims, we have learned that many people ask similar questions and express the same concerns. These FAQs are provided to address many of these preliminary issues, but we invite you to speak to one of our experienced personal injury attorneys about your unique situation. To get answers to more specific questions or to obtain more detailed information, call our West Palm Beach personal injury attorneys to schedule a free consultation.
Question #1: What should I do if I am involved in a motor vehicle accident?
The actions that injured parties take in the immediate aftermath of a crash often have a significant impact on their legal rights and their prospects of a full financial recovery. The first priority for individuals injured in a crash is to seek prompt medical attention. Prompt medical care will both improve an injured person's prognosis and generate diagnostic scans and medical records to substantiate the existence, severity and nature of any injuries. Even minor symptoms should be communicated because many debilitating injuries do not manifest serious symptoms until a period of time has elapsed following a collision. Motor vehicle accident victims also need to attend all doctor's appointments and complete any course of treatment and/or rehabilitation.
The next priority if you are injured in an auto accident is to summon law enforcement to the scene of the accident and gather relevant evidence. If a police officer is summoned to the scene of the accident, the officer can conduct an investigation, obtain witness statements and preserve evidence. The accident victim should also gather evidence such as: photos of injuries, motor vehicle damage, relative position of vehicles and the surrounding vicinity; contact and insurance information for the other driver; and names and contact information for witnesses.
Another important step is to avoid discussing your accident with other people or posting information on social media websites. While the other driver's insurance company might contact you to sign forms or make a recorded statement, you should not discuss your case with anyone other than an experienced personal injury attorney. Information that accident victims provide to insurance companies and third parties often torpedo legitimate claims.
Finally, injury victims should seek prompt legal advice from an experienced personal injury lawyer. The attorney can advise you of your rights and ensure that you comply with deadlines and procedural requirements that can prevent your claim from being decided on the merits. If you promptly retain legal counsel, the law firm also can begin investigating the accident, negotiating with the insurance company, filling a lawsuit and conducting discovery to build a compelling case.
Question #2: What kinds of compensation might I be entitled to receive in a personal injury case?
Because every personal injury claim is unique, the types of damages that will be available depend on the specific facts and circumstances of your case. However, some of the types of damages that might be available in a personal injury cases include:
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Property damage (e.g. vehicle repair or replacement)
- Loss of companionship or a spouse or guidance of a parent
- Diminished earning capacity
- Emotional distress
- Burial/funeral expenses (wrongful death)
- Punitive damages
If you have specific questions about the categories of damages that might be available given your specific situation, we invite you to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys.
Question #3: How long do I have to pursue my injury claim?
Every legal claim for compensation involving an injury caused by another is subject to procedural deadlines. The most important deadline is referred to as the statute of limitations, which determines the date by which a lawsuit must be commenced. The statute of limitations can vary depending on the type of claim. For example, the statute of limitations for a car accident in Florida against a negligent driver is four years whereas the statute of limitations for medical malpractice is two years. This variance between types of cases along with special rules that may "toll" (suspend) the statute of limitations such as the victim being a minor, makes it essential to seek immediate legal advice. Further, legal actions against public entities might be subject to pre-lawsuit procedures and even shorter deadlines. Since failure to comply with pre-lawsuit and litigation deadlines can compromise or destroy your legal claim, time is of the essence in consulting with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer serving West Palm Beach and all of South Florida.
If you have more specific questions about your rights and remedies after suffering injury caused by an individual, company or government entity, we invite you to call Greenberg, Stone & Urbano to arrange your free consultation. We can answer your specific questions and address issues unique to your personal injury or wrongful death claim.