A Personal Injury Lawyer in St. Petersburg

Personal Injury Law is a group of legal actions, technically called “Torts” which typically involve injuries which result from someone else’s negligence. Many personal injury claims involve motor vehicle accidents. Others stem from injuries which occur in a store, house, while at work, or some other place or property. This second category of claims are called “Premises Liability”. Still a third category can stem from injuries caused by products you might use or purchase. This is called “Product Liability”. In addition, there is a type called  “Professional Liability", for things like, for example “Medical Malpractice”. Many types of personal injury claims do not fit neatly into a specific category. “Wrongful Death” claims, could fit under any of those. For instance, a wrongful death could occur from a motorcycle accident, but could also occur from a trip and fall injury in a parking lot of a grocery store. This is why it is important to find a personal injury lawyer to consult with prior to making a personal injury claim. Our personal injury law firm can help you determine your rights and obligations if you are considering filing a personal injury claim.

Personal Injury Claim Categories Explained

Here are some of the categories of personal injury claims, and what they include:

  • Motor Vehicle Accidents: This category of personal injury claims includes car, truck, motorcycle, scooter, bus, and even bicycle accidents. Dealing with these types of accidents can be extremely  complicated since there are usually multiple insurance companies involved.  Often there is No Fault insurance or “PIP”,  to work through, as well as both a property damage and personal injury component. Motor Vehicle accidents may often be alcohol or drug related too, which adds another layer of complexity to the claim.
  • Premises Liability: This category of personal injury claims includes slip & fall and trip & fall accidents and injuries at both public and private buildings, areas, and spaces, as well as falling objects and even improper security measures that lead to the injury of an innocent party. Another related type of claim is a dog bite or other animal attack. This category may also include injuries while working or at work, depending upon the specific circumstances involved.
  • Products Liability: This is the type of claim that arises when someone is injured by a product or goods. Often it is a product they purchase or use, but sometimes it can be something they are exposed to with or without their knowledge. This could even be applicable to a food product, medication or cosmetic that makes someone ill.
  • Professional Liability:  This is essentially a malpractice claim, such as medical malpractice, where a doctor or medical facility is negligent, and as a result cause injuries to a patient.
  • Wrongful Death: This is a category of personal injury claims where negligence results in the death of the injured person. A wrongful death claim can stem from an automobile, motorcycle, truck, bus, bicycle or watercraft accident, as well as from any premises liability, products liability or even professional liability cause of action.  

In order to recover money for a claim of negligence, the claimant must ordinarily be able to prove two things. The first one is liability. That is, they must prove that the negligent party was responsible for injuring them. Secondly, they must prove that, as a result of the negligence, and injury, what lawyers call “damages” were incurred by the injured party. There are several types of damages that can be recovered from a negligent party. Typically, damages are broken down between “economic” and “non-economic” damages. There are general and special damages, such as medical bills and lost wages. There are also damages for pain and suffering, emotional distress, future medical bills, brain trauma, surgery, loss of enjoyment of life, and the list goes on and on. There are so many different theories of liability and damages that protecting and prosecuting a personal injury claim, and negotiating a settlement are often quite complicated. Insurance companies are businesses and their goal is to make profits. Paying as little as possible to settle your claim is what they have in mind. They have huge legal departments full of lawyers to help them. You need someone to advocate for you. That’s why It is always best to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer to protect your claim. David P. Folkenflik, Esquire, is a St. Petersburg personal injury attorney who is here to help you get the best settlement possible.

In any event, a good personal injury lawyer will be with you to guide and help you through your claim every step of the way.

So, how does the injury claim process work? In most instances, after your free consultation, and some initial investigation filing a personal injury claim with the relevant insurance companies is the first step your lawyer will take towards resolving your claim. You will often be best served if your lawyer is able to resolve your claim through settlement before a lawsuit is filed, since a lawsuit tends to greatly increase the legal fees and costs you will pay on the case, and also tends to drag on for a much longer period of time. However, sometimes lawsuits have to be filed in instances where there is disputed liability or an uncooperative insurance company or defendant. If a lawsuit becomes necessary, the defense will be represented by an attorney who is typically paid for by the defendant’s insurance company. Insurance companies are very familiar with defending a personal injury claim. The defense attorney would have the right to conduct discovery, and could take your deposition, or statement under oath, before a court reporter. This can be stressful to many people, but in many instances personal injury claims are resolved prior to any deposition being taken. In fact, statistics show that most injury claims are settled prior to a lawsuit. In any event, a good personal injury lawyer will be with you to guide and help you through your claim every step of the way.

A personal injury attorney and firm should take the time to meet with you and go over the facts and circumstances of your case.

Finding a personal injury lawyer who is right for you can be very tricky. A personal injury attorney and firm should take the time to meet with you and go over the facts and circumstances of your case. All of your questions should be answered to your satisfaction, and you should feel comfortable with the attorney and any paralegal you may be working with. At our firm, we will spend the necessary time to discuss all aspects of your case with you, thoroughly answer your questions, in an understandable way, and guide you through the entire claims process. We want to take all of the pressure off of you, so you can get the medical care and treatment you need, and let us worry about dealing with the insurance companies and all of the other red tape involved in making an injury claim. We always offer a free consultation for any personal injury claim, and you will pay no attorney fees to us unless you win a settlement or verdict in your claim. Our goal is to make the legal process of having a personal injury claim  as easy and painless for you as possible.

The information contained herein does not constitute legal advice as that can only be given by a direct consultation with the attorney after having reviewed your entire matter and relevent documentation. Actual terms and conditions of representation will be contained in the Representation Agreement.

Our mission is to provide our clients with the prompt, aggressive, thorough, and competent representation they need, while providing the courteous and caring personal attention that they deserve.

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FLORIDA BAR ASSOCIATIONReal Property, Probate & Trust Section
US COURT OF APPEALSfor the Eleventh Circuit Bar
US DISTRICT COURTfor the Middle District of FL