Personal Injury Law in Melbourne, FL

Were you hurt due to another’s negligence in Melbourne? If so, it may have far-reaching consequences such as a loss of wages or extensive medical treatment. Personal injury law allows an injured person to get damages if the responsible person acted recklessly. A personal injury attorney in Melbourne, FL can help navigate the lawsuit to make sure you receive all of the compensation you deserve.

What Is Personal Injury Law?

Personal injury law in Melbourne relates to the legal process of getting compensation for an injury caused by someone else’s negligent behavior. These cases involve one party, the plaintiff, trying to seek financial compensation for expenses incurred and money lost as a result of the defendant’s reckless behavior. These cases involve both parties’ insurance companies and may even settle before proceeding to litigation.

Examples of Personal Injury Claims in Melbourne, FL

Some personal injury claims are more common than others. However, almost any incident that ends with a physical or mental injury could qualify, depending on the circumstances.

A few of the most common personal injury claims are:

  • Car Accidents
  • Slip and Fall
  • Dog Bites
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Workplace Accidents
  • Burn Injuries

Most Common Injuries in Melbourne 

Emergency rooms in Brevard County reported 57,113 nonfatal injuries to the Florida Department of Health in 2019 alone. The overwhelming majority of those incidents were unintentional but severe enough to require an ER visit. Most cases gathered by the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration occurred due to falls. Over 6,500 motor vehicle accidents make up the second most common cause of nonfatal injury in Melbourne.

Steps in a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Melbourne, FL

Once you determine that you wish to proceed forward with a personal injury action in Florida

A lawsuit begins when a complaint is filed with the court and served on the defendant. The complaint alleges your assertion as the plaintiff that the defendant’s negligent behavior resulted in damage to your body or mental state. As the process proceeds forward, you may have to go through depositions, independent medical evaluations and document production. This discovery process is lengthy and ends in either settlement or a court appearance.

Going to court is unlikely because most personal injury cases result in settlements instead of presenting your case to a judge and jury. Civil cases that go to trial may include the following phases:

  • Jury selection
  • Opening statements from lawyers
  • Witnesses give testimony and answer to cross-examination
  • Attorneys for both sides present closing arguments
  • A judge gives the jury instructions
  • The jury deliberates and delivers a verdict

Florida Personal Injury Settlement

With most personal injury cases, insurance companies and injured parties prefer settlement negotiations rather than going to court for a trial. You may wonder how much you should seek in your settlement and factors that impact the final amount.

The actual amount depends on the circumstances of your case, but there are numbers to consider. Consumer Health Ratings reports that ER visits for Florida residents cost $6,609 on average in 2018. If you take other costs into account, such as repairs to your vehicle and out-of-pocket expenses related to the injury, you could deserve tens of thousands of dollars in damages.

If the other party has insurance, the insurance company likely wants to settle out of court to avoid leaving the final settlement decision to a jury. Settlements benefit injured parties as much as they do insurance companies. This is because accepting a settlement means you receive compensation sooner rather than later. Also, by going to court in FL, that means you risk not receiving any compensation at all.

Damage Awards in Florida

If your Florida personal injury lawsuit goes before a judge or jury, your legal team will be ready with a request for damages. In personal injury cases, there are three types of damage awards a court may order the defendant to pay to compensate you for the damage he or she inflicted.

Special compensatory damages reimburse you for things such as lost income, medical bills and insurance deductibles. You submit receipts proving these losses.

General compensatory damages are subjective. If you receive special compensatory damages, you may also collect general damages. If your injury was particularly painful, you might request that the judge order the defendant compensate you for the pain and anguish.

Punitive damages are the most rarely awarded and are up to the court. The judge or jury may determine that the defendant’s negligence was particularly heinous and the resulting injury to you was equally horrific. 

A personal injury case in Melbourne does not have a cap on the amount of damages an individual can recover. Statutes passed by the Florida Legislature do limit punitive damages. With that established, it’s worth noting that personal injury cases rarely result in punitive awards. Additionally, a judge or jury can only award $500,000 or three times the compensatory damages, whichever is greater.

Statute of Limitations in Melbourne, FL Personal Injury Law?

The injured party may have a set amount of time to file suit for a personal injury case. State law establishes statutes of limitation. Commonly, the plaintiff’s injury or discovery of the injury begins the statute of limitations. However, the latter factor is trickier, as the plaintiff will have to prove when the injury was first realized.

Melbourne residents have up to four years to file a personal injury lawsuit from their injury or illness. Certain circumstances may allow for more time, but you could pass up your opportunity to receive compensation for damages if you wait too long.

We recommend you speak with a personal injury lawyer for this matter. Don’t wait too long and miss out on receiving the compensation you deserve for your injury. 

Work With an Experienced Melbourne, FL Lawyer

Pursue a personal injury claim in Melbourne against the responsible person if you are dealing with an injury caused by someone else. One of our experienced lawyers can help you navigate your personal injury claim. We can even help you connect with an attorney across Florida state lines.

Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!

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