Whether you need criminal defense or representation for a personal injury claim, our team, lead by Chris Crawford, will fight 24/7 to guarantee that your rights are protected. These trial results should inspire confidence.
Pensacola Personal Injury Lawyer
Put Years of Experience in Your Corner
Every legal case is different. When you or someone you love has been injured in an accident, it’s not enough to have an attorney who uses a one-size-fits-all template. Injured plaintiffs need a Pensacola personal injury lawyer who understands how to conduct a thorough investigation into the details of a case and can develop a comprehensive legal strategy appropriate to those circumstances. That is exactly the kind of aggressive and creative legal counsel they find at Crawford Law.
Proving Negligence in a Personal Injury Lawsuit
The concept of negligence consists of four elements that need to be established by the plaintiff’s lawyer.
- The defendant must have owed a duty of care to the plaintiff. In other words, they had a legal obligation to act in a certain way and to take reasonable steps to avoid causing harm.
- The defendant must have breached that duty of care. This occurs when the defendant's actions or inactions do not align with what a reasonable person would have done in similar circumstances.
- The third aspect of negligence involves causation. The plaintiff needs to prove that the defendant's actions were the direct cause of their harm.
- The fourth element of negligence is damages. The plaintiff must demonstrate that they incurred damages, which may include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, or property damage, as a result of the defendant's actions.
Establishing all four elements of negligence is absolutely necessary to secure a settlement, and it is best to work with an experienced Pensacola personal injury attorney to help navigate the complexities of the legal process.
Damages in a Personal Injury Case
Damages refer to compensation for pain and losses due to the injury. These include:
- Compensatory damages: This is compensation for lost income and medical bills and can be directly calculated.
- General damages: This includes damages that do not have a direct financial cost but still call for compensation, such as includes psychological pain, future loss of income, and future physical pain. It may also include punitive damages, which are intended to punish the reckless party and send a message about the wrongdoing.
How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Claim in Florida?
The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim in Florida is generally four years from the date of the accident or incident that caused the injury. This means that if you have been injured due to someone else's negligence in Florida, you have a four-year window from the date of the injury to initiate legal action.
However, there are exceptions to this four-year rule. For example:
- Medical Malpractice: If the injury resulted from medical malpractice, the statute of limitations is generally two years from the date the patient discovered or should have discovered the injury, but it cannot exceed four years from the date of the alleged malpractice.
- Wrongful Death: For wrongful death cases, the statute of limitations is generally two years from the date of the death which may be different from the date the fatal injuries were inflicted.
- Claims Against Government Entities: If the responsible party is a government entity or employee, there are specific notice requirements and shorter time limits to file a claim.
It is crucial for personal injury victims in Florida to be aware of these time constraints and act promptly if they wish to pursue a personal injury claim. Failing to file a lawsuit within the applicable statute of limitations could result in losing the right to seek compensation for your injuries altogether.
Therefore, it is advisable to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney to understand your rights and ensure you meet the necessary deadlines for filing a claim as soon as possible. Call our firm today to learn more, we offer free initial consultations.
Experience Matters in Personal Injury Cases
Not all lawyers have the same level of training and experience. A lawyer who handles divorce cases or real estate may well be highly competent in their fields, but accident cases have their own unique dynamic. It's vital to find a Pensacola personal injury attorney who primarily practices in this field.
Plaintiffs should seek legal counsel that is Board Certified in personal injury and accident trial law and holds National Board of Trial Advocacy certification. Only 7% of lawyers meet the criteria to receive these certifications.
Knowing when to pursue a trial versus settling is always a delicate balancing act. A fast settlement may seem attractive on the surface but be woefully less than what a plaintiff might have gotten with a more diligent and vigorous pursuit of justice.
Insurance companies push for settlements to avoid potentially higher compensation verdicts in court. However, in cases where severe damages are incurred, a lawyer pushing for a quick settlement may leave millions of dollars of compensation on the table.
Contact Our Pensacola Personal Injury Lawyers
At Crawford Law, we’ve spent over 10 years fighting for injured plaintiffs. We understand everything that goes into the investigation, negotiation, and litigation of a personal injury case and what it takes to win a fair settlement. We want to fight for you next.
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