Commonly known as the “Sunshine City,” St. Petersburg offers a wealth of enjoyable activities for people of all ages, from golfing to boating, fishing to museum hopping, and shopping to partaking in the city’s vibrant nightlife. Unfortunately, there are risks involved with all the activities, including the risk of becoming injured due to someone else’s carelessness or recklessness. If an accident injured you, a St. Petersburg personal injury lawyer from Perenich Law Injury Attorneys can discuss the services our legal team can provide you. We are proud of the personal injury verdicts and settlements we have obtained for our clients, including:
$10 million settlement for the family of a three-week-old infant who suffered catastrophic injuries due to medical malpractice.
$2.15 million wrongful death settlement for the family of a 12-year-old who died in a motor vehicle accident caused by a hit-and-run driver.
$700,000 jury verdict for a client who suffered a crushed pelvis and required the placement of a permanent colostomy after being struck by a motor vehicle.
$155,000 settlement for a client who was hit by a distracted driver, requiring spinal fusion surgery in their neck.
While we cannot guarantee a specific result in your case, contact Perenich Law Injury Attorneys today to see what we can do for you.
The Types of Accidents that Can Result in a Personal Injury Claim
Nearly any accident could result in a personal injury claim if someone’s negligence caused it. The types of accidents and incidents our St. Petersburg clients most commonly suffer their injury from include:
Injuries That Create Financial and Emotional Costs Deserve Compensation
Many people are reluctant to seek the assistance of a St. Petersburg personal injury attorney because they fear their injuries are not serious enough to warrant compensation. If your injury caused you to incur medical expenses and miss work, it is generally serious enough to seek compensation through the personal injury claims process. Florida’s no-fault insurance system generally covers motor vehicle accidents. This does not mean that there is no fault assigned to car accidents occurring on St. Petersburg roadways. It means that individuals must obtain a personal injury protection (PIP) policy to register their vehicles in Florida. PIP policies cover a portion of the medical expenses and wage loss associated with the injury, up to the policy’s limits. Those whom auto accidents injured must first seek compensation for their injuries through their own PIP. If the expenses of their injury exceed the limits of their policy or meet the state’s serious injury threshold, they may seek compensation from the at-fault party’s auto liability policy or the at-fault party personally. Injuries that meet the state’s serious injury threshold include those that result in:
Permanent loss of a bodily organ or function
Permanent injury, within a reasonable degree of medical probability
Significant and permanent scarring and disfigurement
The Personal Injury Claims Process
Contrary to popular belief, personal injury claims do not always wind up becoming dramatic courtroom battles. In fact, about 95 percent of all personal injury claims resolve before trial through a negotiated settlement. Here are some of the steps in the St. Petersburg personal injury claims process.
When you first begin working with your seasoned injury attorney in St. Petersburg, they will carefully investigate the details of the accident or incident that caused your injury to:
Determine all sources of liability. Liability refers to legal responsibility for causing the accident. To establish liability, you must show they had a duty to take reasonable actions to protect the health and property of others in a given circumstance; their carelessness or recklessness breached that duty; and the breach in duty resulted in an accident that injured you.
Determine all insurance resources possessed by the at-fault party that can pay for your injury. Insurance is one of the most significant factors in establishing a value to your claim, as most individuals and businesses do not have the funds to pay out-of-pocket for someone’s injury expenses. However, insurance policies generally have limits. Your attorney needs to determine all sources of liability and all insurance resources to fully compensate you for the expenses and impacts you have already incurred and those you will likely experience.
Establish a value to your claim based on the insurance available, the severity of your injury, and the past and future expenses and impacts of it. Often your dedicated St. Petersburg injury lawyer will wait to establish a value until you have reached maximum medical improvement, which is when you have obtained all of the meaningful recovery you likely will experience, even if you continue receiving treatment. This is the preferred time to establish a case value, as there is an accurate picture of the totality of your expenses and estimated future expenses.
Once your committed St. Petersburg accident attorney has established a value to your claim, they will send a demand to the at-fault party’s insurance provider and the provider will assign an insurance adjuster to the case. The adjuster will review the details and documentation provided by your attorney, investigate, and take one of three options:
They can admit to the liability of their insured and pay the demand, effectively resolving your claim.
They can deny payment on the claim and notify you of the reason for the denial. If this occurs, you and your attorney can consider filing a personal injury lawsuit in court to seek compensation instead.
They can offer to settle the claim for less than the claim’s established value.
Generally, an insurance adjuster’s initial settlement offer will be around 30 to 40 percent of the value of the claim. Your attorney can negotiate on your behalf to get the adjuster to increase the offer.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
At some point within the state’s statute of limitation for using the court system to obtain compensation, if the insurance adjuster has not made a fair settlement offer, you and your injury attorney in St. Petersburg will decide it is time to file a lawsuit. However, filing the claim in court does not end the settlement negotiation process. The filing of the lawsuit is often the catalyst for more reasonable offers from the insurance provider, as they wish to avoid the time, expenses, and uncertainty of the claim’s fate in the hands of the court. While your attorney is preparing your case for trial, including obtaining evidence and witness testimony to prove your claim, they will also continue negotiating with the adjuster. A settlement agreement can come at any time, even after the trial has begun, as long as the court has not rendered a verdict on the matter.
Collecting Your Compensation
Once you have a settlement agreement in place or the court has decided in your favor, your attorney will help you collect your compensation and pay creditors such as health care providers or group health insurers who placed liens on the receipt of your settlement to pay for the services they provided for you.
Frequently Asked Questions About Personal Injury Law in St. Petersburg
Personal injury law is a relatively broad umbrella of several types of claims, including those involving motor vehicle accidents, medical malpractice, premises liability, or product liability. For answers to questions about your specific claim, please seek a case evaluation with one of our qualified St. Petersburg injury lawyers at Perenich Law Injury Attorneys.
How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Claim?
In Florida, the statute of limitations for most personal injury claims is two years from the date on which your injury occurred. There are some circumstances in which this deadline will be different, including some claims involving injuries to children and claims against government agencies. Your attorney will advise you if a different statute of limitations applies to your claim.
What Is Florida’s Serious Injury Threshold, and How Does It Affect My Case?
Florida’s serious injury threshold lists the injuries that would permit the claimant to bypass the state’s no-fault insurance system after an auto accident and seek compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. The injuries included on the list include permanent injuries, injuries resulting in a permanent loss of a body function, injuries resulting in permanent scarring and disfigurement, and injuries resulting in death.
Can I File a Claim if My Loved One Died in an Accident Resulting from Negligence?
Family members of those killed in accidents caused by someone else’s careless or reckless actions can seek compensation for the financial and psychological costs of their loss through a wrongful death claim. Like a personal injury claim, a wrongful death action’s success depends on the ability to prove that someone else’s actions led to the loss. In Florida, a representative of the deceased’s estate, such as the executor or administrator of the deceased’s will, must file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the estate and the family members. The compensation in a wrongful death claim may include:
Loss of support and services provided by the deceased to their family members.
Loss of companionship, guidance, and nurturing.
Loss of prospective net accumulations to the deceased’s estate.
Medical and funeral expenses paid directly by the family members or the estate.
I Cannot Afford a St. Petersburg Injury Lawyer. What Should I Do?
Another common reason that people are reluctant to seek the assistance of a personal injury lawyer after being injured in an accident is that they fear they cannot afford one. The legal team at Perenich Law Injury Attorneys is often asked:
How much is our retainer?
How much do we charge by the hour?
How much would we charge just to answer a few legal questions?
Most personal injury lawyers use a contingent fee billing method. This means that payment for our services is contingent on obtaining compensation for you. Upon successfully garnering a settlement or court award on your behalf, we will receive the funds for you, take an agreed-upon percentage for our services, pay other debts that we must pay under the contingent-fee agreement we entered when we began working with you, and forward the remainder of the settlement or award to you. In addition to our client-friendly contingent-fee billing method, we offer free case evaluations, which are a time to obtain answers to your legal questions and to learn more about our services at no cost or obligation.
Call a St. Petersburg Personal Injury Attorney Today
A St. Petersburg personal injury lawyer can help you understand your legal options for seeking compensation for the expenses and impacts of your injury, as well as the assistance we can provide as you navigate this process. Whether through settlement negotiations or litigation, we fight for our clients and their families. For your free case evaluation, contact us. Perenich Law Injury Attorneys is here to help.
Perenich Law injury Attorneys
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