When someone acts recklessly, negligently, or maliciously and causes injury to someone else, the victim(s) have a legal right in the United States to seek monetary compensation for a range of damages that they suffer. These damages include both financial and emotional impacts, each of which has a specific method for handling to reach a fair and reasonable amount for compensation. Most often, these situations are handled through an insurance claim where an insurer pays a settlement to the victim on behalf of the at-fault individual, whether through homeowner’s insurance, medical malpractice insurance, driver’s insurance, or any other number of liability policies that protect an individual from being personally liable for the cost of their actions.
Many people do not realize that they are often entitled to far more than the insurance company offers for compensation or are overwhelmed by the complicated process and do not understand how to fight for their own best interests. This confusion and anxiety are only compounded by the fact that they are dealing with significant injuries and pain — not to mention the enormous disruption that these injuries cause to a victim’s life — and they often settle for a fraction of what they are truly owed. Insurance companies are well aware of this and capitalize on the claimant’s vulnerabilities in order to save as much money as possible.
The team at Bernheim Kelley Battista & Bliss, LLC will fight to make sure that you get the money you deserve.
Contact Bernheim Kelley Battista & Bliss For a Free Consultation Today
We offer a free, no-obligation consultation for victims of personal injuries — or people who are uncertain of their situation and do not know how best to proceed. During this consultation, we will be able to discuss a wide range of details regarding your situation including the cause of your injuries, the nature, and severity of said injuries, as well as the steps you have already taken. We will help you understand your options moving forward, and while we will not be able to give you absolutely certain or concrete answers to many of your questions after just one conversation, we will leave you with a much clearer concept of the options available to you and how we can help.
Read more below to learn a bit more about some general topics regarding personal injury cases in Jacksonville, and contact our law firm as soon as possible to speak directly with an experienced professional about your situation.
Our Personal Injury Practice Areas
The following list is a general overview of our practice areas. Whether or not you see your own specific situation listed below, contact us as soon as possible to speak with an attorney about how we can help you move forward with your case.
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Rideshare accidents
- Scooter accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Boating accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Wrongful death
- Slip and fall
- Construction accidents
- Workers’ compensation claims
- Jet Ski accidents
- Catastrophic injuries
- Pedestrian accidents
- Premises liability cases
Each of these topics covers a wide range of situations, but regardless of whether or not your accident falls into one of these categories, your case will require a unique approach to building a strong case and working towards a fair settlement. No two accidents are alike, and you can count on the team at BKBB to treat your situation like the individual situation it is.
Proving Fault After a Personal Injury
Before a victim is able to initiate a claim, the first step is to prove that they were, in fact, the victim in the accident and that the party they are filing a claim against was at fault for the accident and resultant injuries. Depending on the type of accident, there are many different ways that your personal injury attorney in Jacksonville will be able to prove fault.
Some common ways that fault can be proven are as follows:
- Traffic cameras
- Witness statements
- Admission by the at-fault party
- Black box recorders in commercial trucks
- Tire mark patterns
- Pictures and videos of the scene of the accident
Since personal injuries have such a wide range of accidents they cover, your attorney will go through the different methods of proving fault during your initial consultation and throughout the work you do together.
Understanding Comparative Fault in Florida
There is a term you will likely encounter as your attorney works to prove fault: comparative fault. This legal term allows for a victim to accept a percentage of fault while still being eligible for compensation, as opposed to a situation where a victim would be barred from receiving any compensation if they contributed any fault at all.
Under comparative fault, a victim will accept a certain amount of blame, and their final settlement will be reduced by the percentage of fault they contributed. For example, a $100,000 settlement agreement will be reduced by 15% if the victim accepted 15% of the blame for a car accident, perhaps because they were speeding at the time of the accident or failed to take reasonable corrective actions.
Calculating Damages After an Accident
Once the fault has been established — or while your attorney is working out the final agreement about the percentage of fault you will accept as your own — the next step is to calculate the compensation you are owed through a range of damages. A personal injury lawyer will seek compensatory damages on your behalf, but there are instances where a judge or jury may award punitive damages at the end of a trial in instances where the defendant acted in a particularly egregious or irresponsible way. However, your attorney will not be able to request punitive damages, and these are only awarded in a small number of cases.
Compensatory damages are divided into economic damage and non-economic damages. Economic damages are all impacts of your accident and injuries that have measurable dollar values associated with them, such as your lost wages, your medical bills, and the cost of services you may have hired in order to help you continue living your life in lieu of your injuries. Non-economic damages seek financial compensation for impacts that do not have dollar values, things like the actual pain and suffering of your injuries, the emotional impact of such a traumatic situation, and more.
Your attorney has a range of tools at their disposal to gather and calculate all damages comprehensively, and their attention to detail is an important benefit to ensure that you do not miss any costs or financial impacts that the at-fault party should be paying for.
Contact Bernheim Kelley Battista & Bliss Now
The sooner you schedule your initial consultation with a Jacksonville attorney, the sooner you will have a clear understanding of your situation in terms of your legal options and the strength of your case. We encourage victims to reach out to our firm before initiating a claim or having any communication with the at-fault party or their representative insurance party so that we can start building a strong case from day one.