And then there was an Accident…
“Name the greatest of all inventors. Accident.”
― Mark Twain
So, you got hurt? Maybe you were rear-ended. Or perhaps, you tripped and fell because of a pot-hole. I’m sorry to hear that. However, just because you got hurt does not necessarily mean you have a personal injury claim. I often deal with people who CAUSED a particular accident and then believe that because they are hurt, they are entitled to untold riches. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. In order to bring a successful personal injury claim a few very important things need to happen. We lawyers are very fond of using fancy words and incomprehensible language. You may have heard the terms, “duty, breach, causation, damages.” However, to put it simply, to bring a personal injury claim, you need to be hurt because someone else did something they shouldn’t have done. That’s it in a nutshell.
As I said, there needs to be an accident and you need to be hurt because of it – but that’s just part of it though. If you caused the accident, then there is no way you can bring a personal injury claim. Or, perhaps even more infuriating, if you got into a car accident and can’t prove that the other person was at fault (even though they were), you are going to be one very disappointed person at the end of the day. To add insult to injury, there is also the chance that you got into a car accident, can prove that the other person was at fault, but can’t prove the type and extent of your injuries. That’s another claim killer.
It is a common misconception that it’s easy to get huge settlements from personal injury cases. We have all heard the so-called “Tort Reform” advocates who would have us believe that personal injury claims are the very reason for all of the country’s economic woes. Listen to these people enough and it’s easy to walk away thinking that getting a huge settlement for pain and suffering is a piece of cake.
The truth of the matter is, with regard to car accidents in the state of Florida, that line of thinking is way, way off. Florida law specifically addresses this topic. Section 627.737 Florida Statutes bars a plaintiff in most car accident cases from receiving pain and suffering damages unless they can prove to a jury one of the following: (a) Significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function. (b) Permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability, other than scarring or disfigurement. (c) Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement. (d) Death. In the overwhelming number of auto accident cases tried before a jury in Florida, the jury finds that the plaintiff did not suffer a permanent injury based on the above law and therefore does not award pain and suffering damages.
We have all seen commercials on TV where some very happy people (actors and actresses, no doubt) who appear to be in no distress are claiming that because of their car accident, they are now multi-millionaires. There’s great music and great images to go along with the announcer (most likely a non-lawyer spokesperson). By the end of the commercial, you’re probably thinking to yourself, “Wow – I fell the other day and scraped my knee. All my money problems can be solved!” I deal with this more often than you think. The truth of the matter is that it is always better to have not gotten into the accident in the first place.
With all of that said, if you find yourself in the unfortunate predicament of being hurt because of someone else’s actions, the best thing you can do is to call the Ticktin Law Group at (954) 570-6757. By speaking with an experienced personal injury lawyer and going over all the facts of your particular claim, you will get a much better idea of what potential compensation you may be entitled to.