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Personal Injury FAQ

Common Questions about Personal Injury Claims

Have you been injured because of someone else's negligence or careless mistake? If so, you are probably worried, frustrated and confused and you don't know what to do next. Personal Injuries can lead to severe financial hardship and you owe it to yourself to collect full compensation for you injuries. At Pittman Law Firm, P.L. we are intimately familiar with personal injury and we have been protecting injury victims for over 20 years now. Filing a claim and dealing with the insurance companies can be a strenuous process, which is why you need a dedicated and persistent injury attorney to help guide you through. We will be more than happy to address any questions or concerns regarding your claim. Here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions that we hear about personal injury claims.

Q: How do I prove my personal injury case?
Q: How much is my claim worth?
Q: What is the difference between compensation and punitive damages?
Q: Will I have to go to trial for my case?
Q: What is the statute of limitations for injury claims in California?
Q: If I am injured in a car accident and it was clearly their fault, will the insurance pay for my car repair?
Q: If I was playing a sport or participating in dangerous activity when I was injured, will I still get paid?

How do I prove my personal injury case?

In personal injury law, you need to prove that negligence was involved on behalf of the other party. This means that if they were lacking "reasonable care" and precaution, they may be considered to be negligent in that given circumstance. Once you establish that negligence was involved you must prove that it was the direct result of your injury and you wouldn't have been harmed otherwise.

How much is my claim worth?

There is no "cookie cutter" answer to this question because every case is different. There are however, several factors that are taken into consideration when determining the amount of the claim. They will look at the extent of your injuries, the medical bills you have acquired, the loss of income, your pain and suffering, property damage, present and/or future disability expenses and any other financial loss that you may experience. There is no exact formula or science to calculating your claim, it will all depend on the circumstances. Your attorney however, can look over your case and give you a ball park estimate of how much to ask for and what a fair amount would be.

What is the difference between compensation and punitive damages?

Compensatory payments are to repay or reimburse the injury victims for their actual losses. In some situations, compensation will over cover the financial loss such as their medical bills or lost wages. This is done so that the injury victim can be put back to the financial position they were in before they were injured. Punitive damages however, are a way to punish the offender and to encourage others to avoid negligent behavior. Only some states allow for punitive damages and they usually put a cap on the amount of the award. In order for you to receive a punitive award your attorney must be able to prove that it was more than just their negligence that caused your injury.

Will I have to go to trial for my case?

Most likely not, in fact only about 25% of all personal injury cases make it to trial. It depends on several things such as the severity of your claim, the efficiency of your attorney, the insurance company you are dealing with and the certainty of evidence. Many times however, the parties are able to come to a settlement before trial becomes necessary. Talk to your attorney today to find out whether or not they believe your case will make it to trial.

What is the statute of limitations for injury claims in California?

Under Florida law, you typically have four years to file your personal injury claim before the statute of limitations runs out. The claim will expire early however, if it is a wrongful death or medical malpractice claim. With claims of this nature you are only given two years to file your claim. There are exceptions to this rule so make sure you speak with your attorney to find out the exact statute of limitations for your specific case. Time is of the essence, schedule your free case evaluation today and file your claim before it is too late!

If I am injured in a car accident and it was clearly their fault, will the insurance pay for my car repair?

Yes. In almost every case when the liability and negligence is evident, the insurance companies will may for your car repair before you even finish your medical treatment. Until your car is back up and running, they will also pay for you to use a rental car. If you refuse the rental car however, they will still have to pay you a fee for "loss of use" of your own vehicle during the time that you were unable to use your car.

If I was playing a sport or participating in dangerous activity when I was injured, will I still get paid?

No, probably not. Under Florida State law, if you were playing a sport or engaging in knowledgeably dangerous activity, that means that you were under "assumption of the risk." This means that you willingly took a chance and in most cases this will prohibit you from being able to recover compensation. The plaintiffs will use this in their defense and they will prove that it was not negligence that caused your injury because you were aware of the risk that you could possibly get injured. This is commonly used in product liability cases as well. There are however, exceptions to this rule, so speak with your attorney today to find out how it applies to you.

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