The world is an unpredictable place, and unfortunately, accidents can happen to us all. Sometimes actions occur due to someone else’s negligence or maybe someone intended to cause harm to you. Serious bodily injury in St. Petersburg, Florida, is not taken lightly. If you have been injured and have to live with the effects or consequences of your injury for the rest of your life, this will be classed as a serious bodily injury. Examples of serious bodily injury include disfigurement, the loss of limbs or other extremities, the loss of mobility, or maybe your life was put at risk of death.
If you have been in an accident that was not your fault and it resulted in a serious bodily injury, then you could be owed money in compensation. If this is the case, it is highly recommended that you seek legal advice from a personal injury lawyer. At The Law Place, we can provide you with some of the best personal injury lawyers in St. Petersburg, FL. Our law group has over 75 years of experience in many practice areas, including personal injury.
We are ready to fight your case. For a free consultation with The Law Place, contact us today at (941) 444-4444! We have friendly, well-versed lawyers that are available to talk to you about your claim. Our phone lines are open 24/7.
Claiming After a Car Accident, St. Petersburg, FL.
The most common occurrence resulting in serious bodily injury that our St. Petersburg personal injury attorneys come across are road accidents. This is due to the frequency of people using the roads and the danger and risk that cars pose to people. If you find yourself in an auto accident and suffer a serious bodily injury, the first thing you have to do is contact your own insurance company. This is required by the State of Florida because Florida is a no-fault state, as laid out in Florida Statute 627.7407
This law states that drivers of a motor vehicle need to have personal injury protection (commonly known as PIP). This ensures drivers have the minimum personal injury protection of $10,000 in order to use their vehicle on the road. The PIP policy will cover any minor injuries you receive as the result of a road accident, but this is unlikely to cover serious bodily injuries. The amount of money you will need to cover medical bills and treatment for a serious bodily injury will far outweigh what your insurance company will pay out if you have the minimum policy requirements.
You can also claim against the other party’s insurance, but the likelihood is that you will face the same situation, as the other party’s insurance policy is unlikely to cover your medical expenses. If this is the case, then the only way to obtain the amount of money you actually deserve is to make a personal injury claim against the party responsible for your injuries. A St. Petersburg personal injury attorney from The Law Place can help you in building a case against the driver responsible, so you are compensated fairly.
What Exactly Is a Serious Bodily Injury?
A serious bodily injury may sound like a subjective term. However, the State of Florida has defined this term under Florida Statute 316.027 to help make it more clear.
This statute states that a serious bodily injury is something that consists of a physical condition that creates a substantial risk of death or:
- A serious personal disfigurement.
- A protracted loss or impairment of the function of a bodily member or organ.
The term serious bodily harm can be used in criminal law to distinguish the difference between emotional or physiological harm. If someone is convicted of causing a serious bodily injury, then they could face a second-degree or third-degree felony. This may differ depending on the specific details of the accident, such as whether or not there was intent to cause harm.
If you end up with a serious bodily injury in St. Petersburg, then you should strongly consider contacting a personal injury lawyer as you could be looking at a lot of money in compensation. The amount you could be awarded will be significantly higher than if you only sustained a minor injury.
With the help of one of our personal injury attorneys at The Law Place, you could rid yourself of the financial burden a serious bodily injury can cause. Although we cannot help you physically, we can help with medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages. Contact our law office today to speak to someone about your accident. You never know what you could be owed!
Examples of Serious Bodily Injuries
For an injury to be classified as ‘serious’ in St. Peterburg, FL., it has to have long-lasting effects on the victim. The following injuries are some examples of what qualify as serious bodily injuries:
- Neck injuries.
- Brain or head injuries.
- Seriously broken or fractured bones.
- Injuries to the spinal cord.
- Loss of limbs.
- Loss of muscle or motor function, such as paralysis.
- Scarring and permanent cosmetic damage.
- Internal injuries that have long-lasting effects.
This list is not all-inclusive, and many other types of injuries could be classed as serious. If you are unsure as to whether or not your injury is ‘serious,’ get in touch with a St. Petersburg personal injury attorney today. Our law firm offers a free consultation in which our lawyers can help you with clarifying the severity of your injury along with what you could be owed.
Who Could Be Liable for My Injury?
To make a personal injury claim, there must be a liable party for your accident. This may not be obvious to you at the time of your accident, but there is almost always someone liable. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you establish fault. To do this, personal injury lawyers will conduct the following in their investigation:
- Duty of care – To hold another party liable for your injury, you need to prove that they had a duty of care. For example, if your injury was sustained from a car accident, the driver involved will have owed an automatic duty of care to you. If the driver did not do this and caused you a serious bodily injury, the driver would be liable for your injuries.
- A breach in their duty of care – Personal injury lawyers must then prove that said person is liable for your injuries and that they broke the duty of care to you. For example, this could mean the person responsible broke safety measures or rules of the road, for example, by drink driving or running a red light that resulted in your bodily injury.
- Causation – The next thing for your attorney to do will be to prove that the injuries you sustained were the direct result of the other party’s behavior.
- Damages – Your personal injury lawyer will have to prove that you suffered damages as a result of an accident and a breach of duty of care for you to receive compensation. Damages could be anything from the indirect effects of your injury to a loss of wages if you are unable to work.
The circumstances around every personal injury case are different. A St. Petersburg Lawyer can help you build a strong case no matter the cause of your injury. At The Law Place, our goal is to make sure you get the compensation you are owed so you can focus on recovery without worrying about the financial implication of your injury.
Common Causes of Serious Bodily Injury, St. Petersburg, FL.
Modern-day life poses many different threats and accidents, it is hard to avoid small accidents, but an accident that results in a serious bodily injury shouldn’t be taken lightly. It may be that the accident was caused unintentionally. Regardless of intent, you will still be able to claim.
In St. Petersburg, FL., most serious bodily injuries are caused by car and auto accidents. However, there are many other causes of serious bodily injury, such as:
- Car accidents involving someone driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Driving recklessly.
- Injury as a result of robbery or theft.
- Battery refers to when someone makes unlawful contact with you through reckless behavior. Although the person who caused you serious injuries may have intended violence towards you, they may not have intended to harm you to such a degree.
- Construction or building accidents.
- An accident involving machinery and tools.
- Accidents from faulty products or maintenance
If any of these situations sound familiar and have caused you a serious bodily injury, then contact one of our St. Petersburg personal injury lawyers today for guidance on what steps to take next.
What Are the Different Claims Available to You?
When filing personal injury cases, there are multiple things you can claim for other than the injury itself. Book a free consultation at The Law Place to see what damages you could be owed.
Due to the nature and complexity of serious bodily harm claims, they could be timely. As the amount of compensation you could be owed may be very high, a rigorous investigation will occur, and naturally, this takes time.
You can claim for the following damages as well as your injuries:
- Pain and suffering – Aside from your injuries, you can claim compensation for any emotional or physical distress your injuries have caused you. This could be anything from not being able to take part in hobbies, sports, or events that you used to before you sustained your injury. Or perhaps your mental health has suffered due to the indirect effects of your injuries.
- Medical bills – It is well known that the cost of medical treatment in the U.S. is high. You should not have to pay for this if you have had an accident that was not your fault. You can claim medical expenditures such as hospital bills as well as appointments for ongoing and future treatment. This also includes transport to and from appointments.
- Wrongful death – If someone you love has lost their life, no amount of compensation will help relieve your pain. But, one of our St. Peterburg personal injury lawyers can take care of the financial aspects of your loss while you grieve. They will do this by filing a wrongful death claim.
- Lost wages – Lost wages may not be at the forefront of your mind at the time of a serious accident. However, it is likely with a serious bodily injury that you will have to take time off work or potentially not be able to work again. A St. Petersburg personal injury attorney will encourage you to claim for any loss of wages.
At The Law Place, we understand that no amount of money may take away the trauma you have had to face due to a serious bodily injury. Compensation, nonetheless, may make your situation just that little bit easier.
How Long Do You Have to Make a Claim?
Due to the statute of limitations in Florida, you do have a time limit when making a claim. As stated under Florida Statute 95.11, you have four years from the date of your accident to make a compensation claim. Although you have four years, it is better to make a claim as soon as possible to maximize the amount you will receive. This is due to the fact personal injury lawyers will have to collect evidence of your accident and injuries. The more evidence we can gather and the more detail you remember, the better your chances are of having a successful claim, with maximum compensation.
It is also better to make your claim sooner rather than later, as it is likely that the defendant is already making their own legal case to protect themselves. In which case, you do not want to let them get ahead. The early bird catches the worm is very much the case in personal injury law. With a free consultation from The Law Place, you have no excuse not to inquire about any serious injuries you have sustained within the last four years.
It is important to be aware that this timeframe differs in the event of wrongful death. If you are raising a claim for the death of a loved one, the statute of limitations is shorter. You must submit your claim within two years of the exact date on which your loved one passed away. Our legal team at The Law Place is versed in dealing with wrongful death. We handle death cases sensitively and timely so as not to cause any additional disruption in your life.
What Happens When You Make a Claim, St Petersburg, FL.
Making a personal injury claim with no legal representation or experience is very difficult. We highly recommend that you seek legal advice as personal injury law can be complex. A St. Petersburg personal injury lawyer can help you start the legal process. Your attorney will require the following evidence from you:
- All records or documentation of the incident that caused your injuries.
- Photographs of the injuries you sustained.
- Receipts of all expenses linked with the accident.
- Bills from hospital visits and physical evidence of doctor visits or medical tests.
Once these items have been received, our personal injury attorneys will start the claims process. It will usually follow these steps:
- Your St. Petersburg personal injury lawyer will make contact with you as soon as they hear anything, which is always within a reasonable time frame. They will make you aware of this at the time.
- You will be expected to be open and honest about your accident. You may have to discuss the intricacies of your accident several times. We understand how traumatic this can be, especially in the event of wrongful death. This is needed as insurance companies may need a lot of clarification on the events of your accident.
- Depending on your particular accident, there may be a time limit in place by which you can make a claim, although you do usually have 4 years to make a claim.
- Once an agreement has been reached that you are happy with, and your legal team has advised you that your compensation is adequate, you will sign a release form to say that you agree on the amount to be paid to you.
Insurance companies may pay out money to you. However, they will try to pay out the minimum amount they can, or it could be that you or the person liable for your injuries does not have insurance. It is, therefore, in your best interest to contact an attorney and make a claim to ensure you get what is owed to you. A personal injury attorney will file a third-party claim on your behalf, and this can be done at our law firm.
Get in Touch With The Law Place Today!
No one should have to deal with the horrible consequences of serious bodily injuries, but the reality is accidents can happen to anyone. Regardless of if you sustained your injuries in a fall, slip, car accident, or a result of medical malpractice, we can help you. Our St. Petersburg personal injury attorneys are highly skilled in different types of personal injury and can take the financial burden from your shoulders!
We at The Law Place know how traumatic and stressful a serious injury can be to you and your loved ones. Personal injury claims can be complex, but our attorneys can support and walk you through every step of your claim.
Call The Law Place today at (941) 444-4444. Our lines are open 24/7, so we can take your call whenever an accident might occur. It is best to contact us as soon as possible for the best chances of getting you the highest form of compensation.