It can happen to anyone. You’re accidentally injured because someone else was negligent – another driver, for example, or a negligent property owner – and you’re out of work for weeks, months, or even longer. What is your recourse? Can a Miami car accident lawyer help?
Your bills won’t stop coming in if you’re injured, and you’ll have medical expenses on top of your regular monthly obligations. Can you be compensated for your lost wages if you miss work because you’ve been injured by negligence? What steps will you have to take?
If you’re injured by negligence, you’re entitled by Florida law to compensation for all current and future medical costs, all current and future lost wages, personal pain and suffering, and all other losses and damages arising from your accident and from your personal injury or injuries.
WHAT’S THE FIRST PRIORITY IF YOU’VE BEEN INJURED?
You’ll have two priorities if you’re injured in Florida because someone else was careless. Your first priority is seeking medical attention and treatment immediately. If you’ve been in an accident, have a medical exam at once – even if you don’t feel injured.
A sudden accident will probably cause adrenaline to flood through your body, and that can hide your pain. Additionally, some injuries are latent and hard-to-detect.
If you are not examined by a medical professional after an accident, in several days or weeks, you might be dealing with a serious condition. You may feel great, but you must undergo a medical exam in the first 24 hours after an accident. Don’t “brush it off.” See a doctor.
WHAT IS THE 14-DAY RULE IN FLORIDA?
If it’s a traffic accident, Florida has a “14-day” rule, so if you’re not examined by a healthcare provider within 14 days of a traffic collision, you may not be able to acquire any compensation for any of your losses.
An immediate medical exam does more than protect your health. If you eventually need to take legal action to obtain compensation for lost wages and medical bills, a medical examination creates medical documents that may become evidence to support your personal injury claim.
WHAT’S THE SECOND PRIORITY IF YOU’VE BEEN INJURED?
In South Florida, if you’re going to be compensated for lost wages and other losses after an accident – unless it’s a workplace injury (workplace injuries are handled differently) – you will need to be advised and represented by an experienced Miami personal injury attorney.
Workplace accidents and injuries are handled differently in Florida. In most workplace injury cases, you won’t be able to file a personal injury claim; instead, you’ll probably qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.
But even if your injury is job-related, your top two priorities are the same. Seek medical attention at once and then seek legal assistance. A Florida personal injury lawyer can guide you through the workers’ compensation system and ensure that you are properly compensated.
IN WHAT OTHER WAYS WILL PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS HELP YOU?
At your first consultation with an injury attorney, you’ll be able to receive personalized advice specific to your own situation, and you’ll learn more about your rights. If you have grounds for legal action, your attorney may recommend filing a personal injury claim.
When you file a personal injury claim, your attorney will attempt to negotiate a settlement that pays for all of your lost wages, medical bills, and more. Personal injury lawyers are trained negotiators who routinely handle personal injury negotiations.
Most personal injury cases in Florida are resolved in this way – privately and outside of the courtroom – but if no acceptable settlement offer is made in negotiations, your attorney may recommend going to trial and asking a jury to award the compensation you need and deserve.
IF YOU ARE INJURED, HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH AN INSURANCE COMPANY?
Don’t make a formal statement to any insurance company after an accident if you’ve been injured by someone else’s negligence. Let your lawyer do the negotiating and refer any inquiries to your lawyer.
Don’t accept a first settlement offer – even if you feel financial pressure. Quick settlement offers are almost always for a figure that’s far less than your personal injury claim is worth. Let your lawyer negotiate a more acceptable settlement.
HOW ARE WAGES COMPENSATED IN PERSONAL INJURY CASES?
If you are temporarily disabled and unable to work after being injured by another person’s negligence, the compensation you receive in a settlement or a jury verdict should cover both your medical expenses and all of the wages that you would have earned if you had not been injured.
You’ll probably need to produce bank or tax statements or a statement from your employer to prove the precise amount of your lost wages.
WHAT ABOUT COMPENSATION FOR “FUTURE” WAGES?
If you are disabled by a long-term or permanent injury, your settlement or verdict should also compensate you for your future lost wages – your lost “earnings capacity.” When there’s a catastrophic injury, the loss of the injury victim’s earning capacity is an important consideration.
Brain injury victims, spinal cord injury victims, and others who suffer catastrophic injuries may entirely lose the capacity to work. If you make $50,000 a year but a catastrophic injury forces you to retire ten years early, your loss of earning capacity may be worth $500,000 or more.
To acquire the full compensation that you’re legally entitled to if you are an injured victim of negligence, your attorney may ask a medical authority and/or a financial specialist to make a statement or testify at trial on your behalf.
WHEN SHOULD YOU SPEAK TO A MIAMI INJURY LAW FIRM?
An experienced Miami personal injury attorney will consider every factor in your case and will fight aggressively on your behalf for the maximum available compensation amount.
If you’ve been injured and you can’t work – either temporarily or permanently – do not take chances. Seek medical attention immediately after a traffic collision or any other serious accident in south Florida.
After seeing a doctor, immediately schedule a meeting with a personal injury lawyer who will review your case and discuss your options and rights. Don’t even think about the statute of limitations (it’s four years in Florida for personal injury cases). You must act as soon as possible.
If you’ve been injured in Florida because another person was negligent, your lost wages – both current and future lost wages – can be compensated, but you must take the first step and contact a personal injury lawyer at once. That is your right, and it’s the right thing to do.