St. Augustine is one of the best places to live but often, people are involved in accidents that leave them with injuries. In the majority of these accidents, the actions or inactions of other people are to blame. The financial burden imposed on you after the accident can negatively affect your income and security, which is why you need Clay County Personal Injury Attorney to be made whole again or get compensation from the party responsible for your injuries.

Wrongful Death

Apart from facing criminal charges, whenever you take a life, whether intentionally or due to negligence, you will be subject to civil court proceedings because of wrongful death.  According to the Wrongful Death Act of Florida, the family members or the estate of the deceased can file a wrongful death claim against the person or entity that is liable for the death. The suit seeks monetary compensation for the descendants of the dead because of the pain and suffering, loss of consortium, loss of support and burial and funeral costs.

The suit or claim should arise when the cause of death is negligence, wrongful conduct, violation of a contract or default by another party. Under Florida statute 768.19, you can only claim benefits if you can prove the following elements:

  • The conduct of the defendant constitutes a violation of a contract, default, wrongful act warranty or negligence
  • The behavior constituting the case was the cause of death of the deceased
  • The conduct must have allowed the dead to act and recover damages if he or she was alive

Florida Laws Section 768.21 outlines particular guidelines that you should follow during the award of damages in a wrongful death claim. One of the rules is that you must mention all the possible recipients of the compensation and disclose their relationship with the person who died in an accident. Section 768.20 lists the beneficiaries of the benefits as:

  • Spouse of the victim
  • Parents of the deceased
  • Children of the deceased
  • Adoptive siblings and blood relatives who were dependent on the victim either wholly or partially

Statute of Limitation for Wrongful Death Claims

Every civil claim in Florida has time limits within which registration should occur. The time limit establishes equality and predictability during the lodge of the suit. Whether you have a legal matter pending against the potential defendants or not, you should inform them of the harm they have done to another party. You also have to decide on whether to pursue the claim or not because if the statute of limitations expires, you will lose your constitutional rights to register another complaint. The law of limitations in Florida is twenty-four months from the date of death. If the period elapses without registering a suit, it will be impossible to recover the damages. Compared to other types of personal injury claims, two years is a short duration. You can get an extension on the time limit if the issue of compensation becomes complicated because of posthumous children, adopted kids or plans to remarry or divorce.

In the event your time expires, you can still file a claim, but first, you must petition the court so that they can waive the statute of limitations. However, not everyone is eligible to file a petition. There must be exceptional circumstances surrounding your claim because the party you are seeking compensation from might not be ready to agree to your request for a waiver.

Also, you can do what is known as tolling.  In other words, this means delaying or suspending the statute of limitations. The time limit for children who want to claim wrongful death benefits starts when they turn 18. It means tolling is possible in cases involving minors. Furthermore, if you have a mental condition, the court might also allow tolling. But keep in mind that you are entitled to delay or suspend the process, but before that happens, the court must weigh the pros and cons of the action to the defendant or the opposing party. If you use a profound St. Augustine Personal Injury Attorney, you can easily delay or suspend the statute of limitations to ensure that you retain your rights to seek compensation.

Car Accidents 

Florida is a no-fault state. It means that when a car crash occurs, you don’t have to sue the driver who was at fault. However, if the injuries and damages caused are severe, you can sue the other driver in court. The reason people do not sue is that every driver is required by law to carry a Personal Injury Protection coverage of not less than ten thousand dollars.  With this insurance, when a car accident occurs, your insurer covers the damages.

Some of the significant causes of car accidents in Florida include driving under the influence, distracted driving, and negligence. In the event you are involved in a vehicle collision, certain things must be done. These are:

  • Don’t leave the scene of the crash
  • Check on all drivers and passengers whether you have sustained injuries or not
  • If there is property damage, a life lost or injuries sustained, call the law enforcement
  • Once you have checked on everyone involved in the crash, exchange information such as names, addresses, and contact numbers
  • Get witness statements by putting down their personal information and what they witnessed at the scene
  • Notify your insurer about the car accident
  • Keep proper records of your medical treatments
  • Take pictures of the scene, injuries, and other property damages

The other thing you should do to ensure you have an advantage when seeking car accident damages is to hire a St. Augustine Personal Injury Attorney.

If you have an attorney, you can begin the process by writing a letter to the defendant requesting compensation for the damages caused. You can also opt to pursue assault and battery charges because Florida is a no-fault state and you might not be assured of the case.

Note that Florida applies the pure comparative negligence system. Under this system, even if you are the plaintiff, you can only recover damages based on the percentage of fault by the defendant. If you are partly to blame for the accident, your rate of responsibility in the accident will be deducted from your compensation.

Also, keep in mind that in the event of an accident, all parties turn to the insurer no matter the person who is at fault. The fact that all drivers should carry $10,000 personal injury coverage and another ten thousand dollars for property damage makes it easier to seek compensation. As people turn to their insurers for payment, the majority of courts are left with fewer cases of personal injuries to handle.

The statute of limitations for car accidents is forty-eight months. But when registering a claim against the government, you only have 36 months to file a claim. If this period expires, the court will not hear the suit unless you sustained injuries with delayed symptoms that were not immediately recognized after the accident.

Truck Accidents

These crashes are among the major causes of deaths in Florida. Trucks are very different from cars because they carry many insurance policies, and the owners of these trucks are mostly commercial companies. The reason truck collisions cause many accidents is because of their size and the nature of some of the products they transport.

The majority of these crashes are caused by negligence by drivers on passenger cars or by truck drivers themselves. After a truck collision and you want to seek compensation, you will need a St. Augustine Personal Injury Attorney to prove the following elements:

  • The truck driver or the company owed you a duty to exercise a reasonable degree of care
  • The driver or the trucking company breached the duty of care
  • The failure to exercise responsibility by the driver or the company resulted in your injuries

Because of the pure comparative negligence system in Florida, even if you are at fault for the accident 99%, you will recover damages for the 1% fault by the opposing party. After a truck crash, you should take the same actions as those explained in car accidents above, which include calling the police and gathering evidence.

Pedestrian Accidents 

These accidents occur when motor vehicles veer off the road because of things like drunk driving and distracted driving. When a driver is over the phone or grooming while driving, they pay less attention to the way which puts pedestrians in danger. Also, these types of accidents can occur at crossways where you walk with lesser speed than the one the driver was anticipating. Remember, drivers are not always to blame for these crashes. The pedestrians themselves are sometimes at fault.

If you are involved in a pedestrian accident and sustained injuries, your St. Augustine Personal Injury Attorney can help you recover damages. However, you must play a role in the process by calling paramedics and collecting evidence at the scene immediately after the crash.

Motorcycle Accident

Although motorcycles are a very flexible mode of transportation, they expose the rider to great danger. The risk of sustaining severe injuries increases because the body of the rider acts as the barrier between them and the road. Also, because of the small size of motorcycles and speed, it becomes difficult to anticipate them, which subjects the rider to severe injuries when an accident occurs.

In the effort to reduce motorcycle accidents, various laws have been enacted to promote safety in roads and protect bikers. Bikers should wear helmets all the time. Failure to do so means as a biker; you must have a $10,000 insurance coverage. The coverage takes care of your medical bills and other expenses in the event you are involved in an accident. 

Note that if you are involved in a motorcycle accident and sustained severe bodily injuries, you have up to four years from the date of the accident to register a claim. If the limit time ends, you cannot express the complaint again. In cases where the victim of the motorcycle accident dies, the statute of limitations is four years.

Types of Compensable Injuries

A compensable injury is any harm caused by an accident that occurs in the line of duty or work. Whenever you sustain injuries at the place of work, you will receive compensation if your injuries are compensable. Some of these injuries include:

  • Traumatic physical injuries
  • Mental-physical injuries
  • Mental-mental injuries
  • Repetitive stress injuries
  • Occupational diseases

Medical Malpractices or Negligence in Florida

Medical malpractice occurs when a health care practitioner provides a treatment that is below the required standards or with disregard to the set rules thus resulting in injuries or death of the patient. Frequent incidences of medical malpractice involve a medical expert failing to act where another medical expert with the same training has taken action, preventing damages. If you suffer injuries because of medical malpractice, a St. Augustine Personal Injury Attorney will guide on the various legal issues like filing a lawsuit and seeking compensation.

There are various types of medical malpractices, but what is shared with them is that the patient is left with injuries and at times, he or she might die. Some of the prevalent types of medical malpractice are:

  • Surgical errors
  • Mistreatment
  • Misdiagnosis
  • Misleading medical tests
  • Delayed treatment
  • Prescription medication errors
  • Early discharge

You could sue a medical provider for injuries if they failed to exercise the standard of care applied by other medical practitioners when treating or caring for patients in a situation like yours. 

Remember, when it comes to the issues of medical malpractice, claiming that the doctor failed to exercise the standard of care is not enough. You must prove that the breach of the standard of care is what led to injuries or death. Proving causation isn’t a walk in the park; thus, the reason you will need a St. Augustine Personal Injury Attorney. When representing you, these attorneys will call an expert witness like a doctor to explain the standard of care required in a case like yours and how your medical care provider breached the standard of care. Presenting an argument that way will enhance your chances of receiving compensation.

Find a Personal Injury Attorney Near Me

Whenever you sustain injuries in St. Augustine, and you believe the injuries are due to negligence by another party, it is advisable to contact the Clay County Personal Injury Attorney at 904-494-8242. We will strive to ensure you recover maximum damages for your injuries.