If you’ve been injured in an accident, you’re entitled to compensation, either from the insurance company or the at-fault party. Many people who are injured in accidents in Fort Lauderdale don’t realize just how expensive an accident can be. In addition to your medical expenses, you may also be out for work for an indefinite period of time, adding to your financial concerns. A Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer, like the ones you’ll find at Bernheim Kelley Battista & Bliss, LLC can help you receive just compensation, not only for your medical expenses and lost income, but for your pain and suffering as well.
Accident Injuries in Fort Lauderdale FL
With nearly 200,000 year-round residents, Fort Lauderdale, FL is the tenth-largest city in the state and the largest in Broward County. Once you add in our normal tourist population during the fall and winter months, that population nearly doubles at times. But that also means that the number of accidental injuries in Fort Lauderdale and the surrounding areas climbs. Consider just car accidents with injuries in the Fort Lauderdale area. In 2018, Broward County experienced 41,082 reported crashes, 24,644 (over half) causing injuries. 237 individuals died in these collisions. And that’s only one category of accident injuries. Our Fort Lauderdale personal injury law firm handles accidental injuries from a variety of other areas of the law.
Common Types of Personal Injury Cases
The Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyers of Bernheim Kelley Battista & Bliss, LLC represent clients who have been involved in all manners of accidents. Here are some of the major practice areas that we handle for our Fort Lauderdale area clients. Contact one of our personal injury lawyers in Fort Lauderdale for a free consultation.
Car & Truck Accident Injuries
Even a low-speed, rear-end collision can cause whiplash, which is a painful injury that can take months to recover from. Our Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyers handle all types of car accident claims, from minor parking lot accidents to wrongful death claims. When it comes to commercial truck accidents, a personal lawyer must be knowledgeable about the state and federal regulations governing the operation of commercial vehicles. Our lawyers are well versed in this area of the law. We also represent clients who have been injured using rideshare vehicles, like Uber & Lyft Accidents.
Motorcycles operate at high speeds and offer no external protection. For that reason, most motorcycle accidents involve injuries to the operator. If you’ve been injured while riding a motorcycle, a personal injury attorney can help you get compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and the damage to your bike. Our personal injury attorneys also represent clients who have been injured in scooter accidents.
Unlike car accidents, boating accidents usually occur on the water, where there’s very little physical evidence to examine. For this reason, you need a personal injury lawyer who is well versed in accidents on the water. Our firm has extensive experience handling these types of cases. This category of personal injury law not only includes boat accidents but also jet ski and Waverunner accidents,
Slip and Fall
Also referred to as “premise liability,” slip and fall accident injuries are extremely common in Fort Lauderdale, FL. The owner or custodian of a property has a duty of care to make sure that the premises are safe for invitees, workers, and other visitors. If there’s a lapse in that care and an accident occurs, a personal injury lawyer can help the victim receive compensation. Slip and fall also covers incidents involving negligent security, which is prevalent in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
As the Fort Lauderdale skyline continues to grow, so do the number of construction accidents around the city. According to OSHA, there are four types of construction accidents known as the “Fatal Four” that cause the most deaths and injuries. These include:
- Falls (causing 338 deaths in 2018)
- Struck by an object (causing 112 deaths in 2018)
- Electrocution (causing 86 deaths in 2018)
- Caught-in between (causing 55 deaths in 2018)
If you’ve been injured in a construction accident, Workers’ Compensation may not be enough. Contact a personal injury lawyer in Fort Lauderdale immediately.
Wrongful Death Accidents
When an accident causes the death of a loved one, it can not only be emotionally devastating – it can also leave the victim’s survivors with uncertain futures. In addition to potential medical expenses, burial expenses, and any other costs associated with the accident, there are other considerations, such as loss of future earnings, loss of companionship, and other damages.
In our society, there are few bonds of trust more sacred than the healer-patient relationship. When you go to a doctor’s office, a hospital, or a clinic, you have an expectation that the medical advice and treatments you receive are commensurate with the best practices in the industry. That’s not always the case, however. Surgical mistakes, delayed recoveries, and improper prescriptions are all too common occurrences. A personal injury attorney who handles malpractice cases will be familiar with the types of injuries and wrongful death that occurs in medical malpractice cases. Furthermore, they will be aware of medical product multijurisdictional and class action lawsuits that are occurring throughout the country. If you’ve suffered injuries, had your recovery impeded, or feel that your health has been adversely affected by your medical care, contact a personal injury lawyer today.
Our firm has extensive experience handling mass tort actions involving things like defective medical devices, defective drugs, and non-medical defective products. We have a great deal of experience in mass tort litigation where multiple plaintiffs bring a suit against a single defendant. Contact a Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer if you have any questions about a medical device, prescription drug, or other defective product that may have adversely impacted your health or recovery.
Workers Compensation Claims
The state of Florida requires that employers with four or more full-time or part-time employees must carry workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation is designed to cover the employee’s medical bills and lost wages in the event of an accident. There are, however, situations where that just isn’t sufficient. Our personal injury attorneys can help ensure that you get the proper compensation for your workplace injuries, including in certain cases, damages for pain and suffering.
Nursing Home Injuries
The Fort Lauderdale FL area has a large elderly population. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 17.5 percent of Fort Lauderdale residents are 65 or older. Many of our older residents live in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Unfortunately, some of those facilities don’t properly care for their residents. When this happens to you or a loved one, you need the assistance of a personal injury attorney to get you the compensation you deserve and to correct the situation. Bernheim Kelley Battista & Bliss, LLC handles cases involving nursing home abuse, negligence, bedsore injuries, and other matters involving improper care.
Important Things to Know About Personal Injury Law
If you’ve just been in your first accident, you may not know anything about personal injury law. Here are a few of the basics that you need to know before sitting down with a personal injury attorney.
Statute of Limitations
All states have a time limit for when a plaintiff can bring legal action against a defendant. For most personal injury claims, the statute of limitations in Florida is four years from the date of the accident. For medical malpractice claims, it’s two years from the date of discovery. Not all malpractice accidents are discovered the same day that they occur, which is why the standard is different. For wrongful death suits, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of death in most cases. Regardless of the statute of limitations, you should contact a personal injury attorney at your earliest convenience to ensure as timely an outcome as possible.
Damage Caps in Personal Injury Lawsuits
The state of Florida has no damage caps for economic damages — your actual monetary loss due to the accident. The state also has no limit for non-economic damages. A personal injury attorney in Florida can pursue punitive damages under certain circumstances.
Lawyer Contingency Fees
Many accident victims in Fort Lauderdale are relieved to discover that a personal injury attorney does not charge a retainer for their legal services. Instead, attorneys work on a contingency basis, which means that they are compensated once the case is settled or their client receives an award. In Florida, the state bar guidelines for contingency fees allow for some leeway. Before you commit to any personal injury lawyer, make sure that they discuss their contingency fees with you.
Personal Injury FAQ
At Bernheim Kelley Battista & Bliss, LLC, our partners have decades of experience seeking compensation for accident injuries for our clients. The following are the answers to some of the frequently asked questions that our attorneys are asked.
Why do you need a personal injury lawyer?
Many accident victims believe that insurance adjusters will fairly compensate them after their accident. It’s important to remember that insurance adjusters work for the company that’s dispensing the payout, and that company has a vested interest in containing costs. A personal injury lawyer has a much better idea of what your claim is worth. In the event that they can’t reach a reasonable settlement with the insurer over your injuries, they have the ability to sue the insurance company. In addition, you pay no out of pocket costs with a personal injury lawyer.
Is there a time limit to file my claim?
Yes. There is a statute of limitations for personal injury claims in the state of Florida. In most cases, it’s two to four years, but you shouldn’t allow time to elapse before you speak to a lawyer. Personal injury cases can take time to develop and valuable evidence can be lost if you wait.
What are the qualities I should look for in an attorney?
Many people start their search on the web, searching for “personal injury lawyer Fort Lauderdale” or something similar. It might be fine to begin your search this way, but it helps to know what you’re looking for. Here are some things you should research before you sit down with a legal team.
- Experience – How long has the firm and its attorneys been in practice?
- Practice Areas – Does this law firm handle your type of personal injury case? For instance, not all firms handle medical malpractice.
- Testimonials – Nothing says more about a law firm than testimonials from satisfied clients.
- Results – Personal injury law firms with successful track records often post their awards and settlements.
What should I do if I’m injured in an accident?
The answer to this question largely depends on the type and location of an accident. Car accident injuries are often much different than slip and fall injuries or injuries arising from defective products. Here are some general tips for the victims of accidents.
- Move to a safe location – If you’re in a car accident, for instance, your final point of rest may not be safe. Don’t exit your vehicle unless you know that you can do it safely. For other types of accidents, you may be perfectly fine remaining where you are until rescue arrives.
- Call 911 – You may need emergency services. The dispatcher will want to know your location, the nature of the injuries, how many people were involved, etc. Try to keep a cool head and answer the questions as well as you can.
- Take photos or video with your phone – Visual evidence is invaluable to a personal injury lawyer. After even a few minutes, the scene where you were injured can radically change. If it’s safe (don’t wander into traffic), take a video of the overall scene and photos of injuries, property damage, road signs, etc. It’s better to have too much rather than too little.
- Get contact information from potential witnesses – Once people know that rescue is on the way, they may leave the scene. Before they do, ask if they observed the event leading up to your injuries. If so, ask them to stay or to give you their contact information. Give this information to your attorney.
- Get copies of police reports or case numbers – If the police respond to the scene, ask for a case number. In Florida, the police are required to write a report for all car accidents involving injuries.
- Do not accept payment from an insurance adjuster – In many instances, an adjuster will show up on the scene of the accident or at the hospital and offer to cut you a check right there. The problem with this is that the payment is usually far less than you would receive if you contracted a personal injury lawyer. Additionally, the payment comes with the requirement that you sign a waiver of liability that prevents you from seeking further damages.
- Contact a personal injury lawyer – If you’re in the Fort Lauderdale area, the personal injury lawyers at Bernheim Kelley Battista & Bliss, LLC are ready to take your call.
Personal Injury Lawyers Fort Lauderdale
For decades, the dedicated personal injury lawyers at Bernheim Kelley Battista & Bliss, LLC have represented thousands of clients throughout the South Florida area. We have represented clients in a number of cases, from small individual settlements to mass tort cases involving multiple plaintiffs. If you or a loved one has been injured due to the negligence of another, call us today. All consultations are free of charge.