Royal Palm Beach, Florida Personal Injury And Car Accident Lawyer
The Law Office of Roger P. Foley helps accident victims in filing personal injury claims and/or lawsuits against those that are responsible for their physical injuries.
A personal injury can occur in many ways, but is most commonly the result of a car accident, a slip and fall, or medical malpractice. If you have been injured due to the negligence of another person or entity, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. You may be wondering what to do next. You may be worried about how you will pay your medical bills or support your family if you cannot work. Our Royal Palm Beach Personal Injury and Car Accident Lawyers can help you understand the process of making an accident claim and answer any questions you have. The call is free. We will work to get you the compensation you deserve so that you can focus on your recovery.Finding A Top Rated Personal Injury Lawyer In Royal Palm Beach And Why It's Important
When looking for the best accident attorney near me in your internet search it is important to do the following:
- Talk to the lawyer, interview them, and look for any potential red flags
- Read reviews about the lawyer
- Make sure the lawyer you speak to will be your attorney for the entire case
- The largest law firms may assign an attorney but is that your attorney for the entire case? It is important that you are not shuffled between attorneys
- Be confident that your attorney has the time to communicate with you as opposed to speaking only with assistants that promise the attorney will call you.
- If it's difficult to speak with the attorney before they are retained then you can only imagine the difficulties later, and that’s not what you want
- Remember customer service is part of the legal service provided and it is ok to expect kindness and empathy from your attorney
There are many reasons for hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer. Here are some great reasons to hire a lawyer that focuses on personal injury law and not attempt to take on insurance companies on your own:
- Studies have statistically proven that claimants receive more money for their injuries when they have an attorney.
- Lawyers are trained in the law and in legal procedures so you don't have to figure it out on your own
- Trained personal injury lawyers are fierce negotiators and will help you get the proper amount of money and faster
- Accident lawyers have experience in filing insurance claims
- Hiring an attorney saves you time as they do all the work and research for you
- There are no upfront fees. All personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis
- If an expert is needed, there is no money out of your pocket
- Attorneys are objective and know the value of your case and will tell it to you straight.
- Attorneys only get paid if successful in getting you money for your injuries
- If your case is not settled with the insurance company, you want a trained and experienced attorney in the courtroom to increase your odds of winning at trial
- A negligent party or entity causes an individual to be physically injured
- The injured person seeks medical attention for their injury
- The injured person seeks legal representation against the negligent person
- The personal injury lawyer does an investigation to acquire information specific to the accident
- The lawyer notifies the negligent party and their insurance carrier that a potential claim will be filed
- A request is made for all insurance policies by the injured parties attorney
- The injured party, our client, continues with their medical treatment
- Without medical documentation of the injury and the continued treatment, even the best personal injury lawyer will be unable to prove damages so it's critical that the injured person complete all treatment
- The lawyer files a demand with the insurance company in an effort to reach a fair and equitable financial settlement for the client
- The insurance company can agree and negotiate a settlement or they can deny the claim
- If a settlement between the parties cannot be reached then a lawsuit may be filed
- The lawsuit or complaint is filed alleging that the negligent party had a duty, breached that duty, and the breach caused damages to the plaintiff/claimant.
- The Defendant answers the complaint generally denying the allegations.
- The process of discovery begins wherein each side demands and receives additional information about the case and information is provided via requests to produce, interrogatories, depositions, and motions
- After all information is provided and all motions are decided by the court, a jury is selected
- The trial begins
- An opening statement provides each sides version of events to the jury
- Plaintiff, the injured party, puts on witnesses though direct testimony
- The Defendant's attorney cross-examines the plaintiff's witness
- After the Plaintiff's puts forth their case, the defendant has an opportunity to put on their side of the case and may provide witnesses and other forms of evidence
- Plaintiff's counsel has an opportunity to cross examine and of the defense witnesses
- Each Party makes a closing argument to the jury and the jury begins deliberations
- The jury makes a decision known as a verdict
There are many different types of personal injury claims that our lawyers can handle, including but not limited to the following:
If you have been involved in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. The Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Department (FLHSMV) reports that there are 200,000 automobile accidents yearly. These motor vehicle accidents occur for a variety of reasons:
- Aggressive driving wherein drivers are speeding and rapidly changing lanes while ignoring traffic laws
- Distracted driving
- Careless driving / Reckless driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol
18 wheeler accidents can be more serious than car accidents due to the size and weight of trucks. Tractor trailers can weigh up to 80,000 pounds wherein most passenger cars are under 5000. It is obvious that anyone involved in a collision with a big rig is likely to have devastating or catastrophic injuries.
Motorcycle accidents can be very serious, as riders have little protection from the impact of a collision. The entire body is susceptible to being damaged. Some of the most common injuries are to upper and lower extremities along with brain and spinal injuries.
Boating accidents are often caused by the boat operators' inattention to objects in the water, swimmers, other boats and jetskis, fixed objects, etc. This can cause serious bodily injury, as there is often little protection from the impact of a collision and without seatbelts a human being will likely be tossed overboard into the water.
Slip and Fall Accidents
According to the Department Of Health Slip and fall accidents make up more than a million emergency room visits in Florida each year. Fall-related incidents are often at commercial locations wherein a store owner fails to keep their premises safe from hazards like spilled liquids. Without a caution sign alerting an individual of the impending danger, it is unlikely to be seen and fall can cause serious injury. An example might include walking through liquid spillage at a hotel or grocery store that causes an individual to fall thereby causing injury.
Pedestrian and Bicycle Accidents
Unfortunately, there are many accidents that occur as a result of careless drivers not paying attention to people on bikes and pedestrians. These types of accidents often cause serious injury because there is little to no protection for the person on the bike or walking. According to the US Department of Transportation, twenty percent of all traffic fatalities are a result of pedestrian and bicyclist accidents.
Dog Bite Attacks
In Florida, if you are attacked and bitten by a dog, the owner is liable for any damages that occur. The victim does not have to prove that the owner knew the animal was dangerous in order to file a claim. A dog attack causes both physical and emotional injury. The emotional trauma to the victim can often be worse.
Medical Malpractice Cases
If you have been a victim of medical malpractice, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. In order to prove medical malpractice, the following must be proven:
- A doctor-patient relationship existed
- The doctor was negligent in their care
- The negligence caused an injury
- The injury resulted in damages
Product Liability Cases
If you have been injured by a defective product, you may be able to hold the manufacturer liable. In order for a product liability case to be successful, the following must be proven:
- The product was defective
- You were using the product as intended
- The defect caused your injuries
- You suffered damages as a result of your injuries
A death that is caused by the negligence or wrongful act of another individual or entity. Not all deaths are deemed wrongful, but it is important to speak to a wrongful death attorney to determine if you have a compensation claim for the loss of your family member.
Florida law limits the family members that can recover in wrongful death cases. See Florida statute for more info or speak directly to wrongful death lawyers.What Are The Types of Compensatory Damages Paid In Florida Personal Injury Cases?
There are three (3) types of compensation in personal injury or Tort cases:
- Non-Economic and
Economic damages are meant to compensate for all financial expenses. Examples of economic damages for an injured person are:
- Medical Bills (Past and Future)
- Emergency Room and Hospital Expenses
- X-Rays, CT Scans, MRIs
- Rehabilitation costs
- Physical Therapy
- Psychological Counseling and Support
- Lost wages ( Past and Future)
- Diminished earning capacity
- Medical devices or tool costs required
- Transportation or travel costs to medical providers
- Home services that the injured party can no longer perform due to injury
- Grocery shopping
- Cleaning services
- Maintenance services
- Home renovation to allow disabled individuals movement in home
- Property damage and repair
- Funeral and burial expenses in Wrongful death cases
Non-Economic damages are not the actual or tangible expenses but are meant to compensate the victim. Based on several district and supreme court case decisions in Florida, there are no longer caps on the amount of money damages that can be awarded for the following:
- Pain and suffering for both physical and emotional
- Emotional Distress
- Loss of consortium or lost sexual function and companionship
- Lost enjoyment of life
Punitive damages are not compensatory damages given to the Plaintiff. Punitive damages punish the Defendant in a personal injury case for gross negligence or intentional misconduct. Punitive damages are given to the plaintiff in these cases and not held by the government. The goal is to deter the defendant and others from acting in a similar manner. An example where courts would allow punitive damages are in drunk driving cases wherein the defendant caused injury to others.
Punitive damages require a higher burden of proof to be established by the plaintiff. That burden of proof for punitive damages is clear and convincing evidence. Economic and non-economic damages have a lower burden of proof called a “preponderance of evidence” meaning the plaintiff must show just over 50 percent that their claim is true.
Punitive damages are capped to three times compensatory damages or $500,000 whichever is larger. In situations where defendants misconduct is proven to be based on financial gain the plaintiff may be awarded four times the amount of compensatory damages of two million ($ 2,000,000).
In medical malpractice cases plaintiffs can receive $500,000 against a medical provider and $750,000 against a hospital. Note: juries are not instructed on the caps and a judge imposes the cap based on the jury’s number.Proving Negligence In Personal Injury Cases
For an accident victim to make an insurance claim or to file a negligence lawsuit, they must prove the following:
- That the Defendant owed a Duty of Reasonable Care to the Plaintiff
- The Defendant breached their duty by failing to act in a reasonable manner
- That the Defendant’s breach caused injury to the Plaintiff
- Based on the breach by the Defendant, the Plaintiff suffered damages, usually an injury, and is entitled to compensation
Proving negligence can be difficult because not everyone is honest. Most defendants and insurance companies will try to shift blame. For that reason, it is important to hire an experienced lawyer so that you receive the maximum compensation for the injury you suffered.Comparative Negligence When You Are Partially At Fault
If your actions contributed to the incident then some percentage of your injury will be reduced. A plaintiff can only recover from the defendant the amount of damage the defendant caused. An example of this tort principal is if your damages are $1,000,000 and you are considered 25% at fault for the incident then the amount of financial compensation received will be reduced to $750,000. The defendant pays the proportionate amount of damages that are contributed to his/her actions.Statute of Limitations On Florida Personal Injury Cases
The statute of limitations in personal injury cases is the maximum amount of time the law allows the plaintiff, the injured party, to file a lawsuit against the negligent party; also known as the defendant.
- Personal Injury Cases - 4 years
- Car, Truck, Motorcycle Accident - 4 years
- Product Liability - 4 years, reduced to two (2) years if death results
- Boating Accident - 3 Years
- Medical Malpractice and Wrongful Death - 2 Years
- Claims against Government - 3 Years
The more serious your injuries the more money you may potentially receive. The large insurance settlements or jury verdicts you hear about are the result of serious or catastrophic injury combined with a large insurance policy.
Damages (financial compensation) received by an injury victim are calculated in several ways. Below are some factors that may result in a higher settlement or verdict.
- Travel to hospital in ambulance
- Surgery required upon admittance to the hospital
- Future surgeries required
- Scars or disfigurement
- Loss of lose a limb or body part
- Partial loss of organ function
- Broken Bones
- Head or brain injury
- Vertebrae Injury
- Nerve damage
- Long term treatment
- Physical therapy
- Life disruptions/ Inability to participate in activities previously done
- Emotional distress
- Inability to work / lost income potential
Billboards and legal advertisements will sometimes make you believe that a fender bender that resulted in a sore back will result in a multi-million dollar verdict or settlement. That is not true. In order to receive a multi-million dollar settlement you need the following:
- Established negligence of the Defendant
- Permanent or catastrophic injury- paralysis, loss of limb, major brain injury, death, etc
- Insurance coverage or large assets to collect or payout for damages
Would you accept 10 million dollars in exchange for being a paraplegic? I would decline the $10,000,000 in a heartbeat because that money will not bring me happiness, it will only go to maintaining my body in a reduced state. When we have good health we take many things for granted. For example, one of my favorite things to do is bicycling through Central Park in New York City with my wife. Every time in NY, we spend quality time exploring the park. I can’t imagine this activity being taken from me due to some type of accident. Receiving financial compensation for my injuries means very little if the quality of my life and my wife’s is diminished thereby not allowing us to have these memorable moments.
If you are injured in an accident, pray that it is not serious or catastrophic because the money means little in comparison to what is lost in this type of accident.Common Types Of Personal Injuries Suffered In Royal Palm Beach
There are many types of injuries that are suffered by victims of personal injury. As Royal Palm Beach Accident Lawyers we hear of many injuries suffered by our clients. The injuries range from minor to catastrophic. The severity of an injury correlates with the amount of financial compensation awarded received by an injured party.
There are many different types of injuries sustained from during a personal injury accident. Some of the more common ones include:
- Tears: This is when the tissue that connects the muscle to the bone is torn. This can happen due to a sudden force or impact, such as during a car accident.
- Sprains: This is when the ligaments (which connect bones together) are stretched or torn. This can happen if you fall and land awkwardly on your arm or leg.
- Strains: This is when the muscles or tendons (which connect muscle to bone) are stretched or torn. This can happen if you lift something heavy incorrectly, or if you suffer a sudden impact to the body.
There are many different types of brain injuries that can occur during a personal injury accident. The most common type of brain injury is a concussion, which is caused by a blow to the head. Concussions can cause a variety of symptoms, including headache, nausea, dizziness, and confusion. More severe concussions can cause loss of consciousness, amnesia, and even paralysis.
Other types of brain injuries include contusions, which are bruises on the brain, and hematomas, which are collections of blood outside of the blood vessels. These injuries can occur when the head strikes an object or when the brain is shaken violently. Brain injuries can also occur when the skull is fractured or when the spine is injured.
Symptoms of brain injuries can vary depending on the type and severity of the injury. Some people may experience only mild symptoms, while others may be left with permanent disabilities. Treatment for brain injuries often includes rest and pain medication. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to relieve pressure on the brain or to repair damage to the skull or spine. Rehabilitation may also be necessary to help the person regain function and mobility.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a form of acquired brain injury that occurs when a person suffers a blow to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain. TBI can result in a wide range of cognitive, physical, and emotional impairments. Symptoms of TBI can vary greatly from person to person, and range from mild to severe.
Treatment for TBI often includes a combination of medical and rehabilitative care. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to relieve pressure on the brain or to repair damage to the skull or spine. Rehabilitation may also be necessary to help the person regain function and mobility. The goal of treatment is to restore an injured person to normal or as close as possible.
If you or someone you love has suffered a brain injury in a personal injury accident, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. Brain injuries can have serious and long-lasting consequences, so it is important to get the proper treatment as soon as possible. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries and help you get your life back on track.Back, Neck and Spinal Cord Injuries
Back, neck and spinal cord injuries are some of the most common injuries seen in personal injury cases. These kinds of injuries can have a major impact on a person's quality of life, and can even be fatal. Some of the most common accidents that result in these kinds of injuries include car accidents, slip and fall accidents, and workplace accidents.
Symptoms of back, neck and spinal cord injuries can vary depending on the severity of the injury. Some common symptoms include pain, numbness, paralysis, and difficulty breathing. These injuries can also lead to long-term problems such as chronic pain, disability, and even death.
Some of the most common types of back, neck and spinal cord injuries injuries include:
Herniated discs: A herniated disc occurs when the gel-like center of a disc bulges out through a tear in the outer layer of the disc. This can put pressure on the spinal cord or nerves, and can cause pain, numbness, and weakness.
Spinal cord injuries: A spinal cord injury can occur when the spinal cord is either severed or damaged. This can lead to paralysis, loss of sensation, and difficulty breathing.
Fractured vertebrae: A broken bone in the spine can put pressure on the spinal cord or nerves, and can cause pain, numbness, and weakness.
Whiplash: Whiplash is a neck injury that occurs when the head is suddenly jerked forward or backward. This can damage the muscles, ligaments, and nerves in the neck, and can cause pain, stiffness, and difficulty moving the head.
If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you recover the compensation you deserve for your injuries.Broken Bones
There are different types of fractures depending on how the bone is broken. A simple fracture means that the bone has cracked, but not broken all the way through. A compound fracture means that the bone has broken all the way through and pierced the skin. A comminuted fracture means that the bone has been shattered into several pieces.
The most common type of fracture is a stress fracture, which is caused by repeated stress on the bone, such as from running. Stress fractures are usually small cracks in the bone.
A dislocation occurs when the ends of the bones that form a joint are no longer aligned. This can happen if the joint is forcefully moved out of its normal position.
Treatment for a fracture depends on the type of fracture and the location of the fracture. Simple fractures can often be treated with a splint or cast. More serious fractures may require surgery to align the bone correctly and to insert metal rods, plates, or screws to hold the bone in place.
If you have been in an accident and have suffered a fracture, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Call the personal injury attorneys at the Law Office of Roger P Foley today to discuss your case. We can help you get the compensation you deserve.
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“Just Call Me”Royal Palm Beach, Florida Law Resources
- Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office Booking Blotter
- Palm Beach County Website
- Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office
- Palm Beach County History
- Florida Health Website
- Palm Beach Post