When you're suffering from serious injuries after an accident, getting your life back on track can feel like an uphill battle.
Even non-permanent injuries can result in lost wages, mounting medical bills and increased stress in your personal life. These setbacks are even tougher to deal with when you did nothing wrong in the first place.
You don’t have to do it alone. Drake Law is a family run firm that fights on behalf of people who have been seriously injured in accidents. Attorney Jonathan Drake makes it a point to meet with every client personally, whether you come to him, or he comes to you.
Let Jonathan Drake take care of the negotiations with the party responsible for your injuries and their insurer, so you can focus on your recovery.
Types of Personal Injury Cases We Handle
Florida is a no-fault car insurance state. That means you need to file a claim with your own insurer after an accident, regardless of who caused it. But no-fault does not mean no accountability. If a driver injures others by their negligence or recklessness, they should be held accountable.
Pursuing a personal injury claim in a no-fault state is complicated. You must meet certain conditions in order to bring a lawsuit against the driver responsible for the accident. Learn more about how we handle car accident cases.
Taking an Uber or a Lyft is a convenient way to get around in Florida. But with all those Ubers and Lyfts on the road, and apps distracting their drivers, accidents are bound to happen.
Being injured in any kind of vehicle accident is stressful. If you’ve been injured in a rideshare accident in Florida, there are certain steps you must take to make sure you can recover damages. Before you speak to Uber or Lyft’s insurer, consult with an experienced rideshare attorney.
Here are some tips on what to do if you’ve been injured in a rideshare accident.
There is a common misconception that motorcyclists drive recklessly, but this is not the case. The reality is that motorcyclists are often have to make evasive maneuvers to avoid collisions with cars. When a driver fails to yield to a motorcyclist, for example, you have the right to file a motorcycle accident claim.
After an accident it is crucial that you get medical help and file a police report if one was not filed at the scene. Then get in touch with an accident lawyer while the details are still fresh in your mind.
You expect to get the best care possible when you or a loved one are in the hospital – but that doesn’t always happen. When medical providers do more harm than good, you have the right to file a lawsuit for medical malpractice.
Dealing with lost wages and medical bills while trying to recover from a botched medical procedure can be overwhelming. If you have suffered a serious injury as a result of negligent health care providers, do not hesitate to contact us.
Premises Liability/Slip and Fall
When a business owner or individual knowingly creates unsafe conditions that result in a serious injury, you have a right to file a premises liability lawsuit. Slip and fall accidents are the most common type of premises liability case, but premises law covers a lot more. Lawsuits arising from dog bites, swimming pool accidents, exposure to toxic fumes, and crimes resulting from poor lighting have all been backed by premises liability law.
Property owners owe a duty of care to people who enter their premises. But it’s important to know that a business is not responsible for injuries just because they happen on their property. You must prove that the business did something wrong or failed to do something they were supposed to do (like cleaning up a spill promptly). For slip and fall accidents, the property owner must have known about the dangerous conditions.
Injuries or illnesses sustained from a defective product are typically the fault of one of three parties: the manufacturer, the designer, and/or the retailer. If the product was used as intended and there was a design flaw that caused your injury, the designer will be held accountable for damages. If the product had a safe and solid design, yet broke or was not produced properly, the manufacturer will be held accountable. Finally, if the retailer sold the item to you knowing that the product had a defect, they can also be held accountable.
We will discover and aggressively pursue the negligent party that was responsible for the defective or unsafe product that injured you or lead to the death of your loved one. In pursuing a defective product lawsuit, it’s important to retain the product as well as everything that came with it, including receipts, instructions and packaging, if applicable.
Frequently Asked Questions
Never make any sort of statement to an insurance company before you consult an attorney. Above all, never sign anything, or accept an initial settlement offer without legal counsel. An experienced attorney can negotiate higher settlements than someone without representation. When you settle a claim, the insurance company often requires that you sign a release giving up many important rights . You need to be sure you understand what those rights are and if your claim is ripe for settlement. Let a personal injury lawyer help you deal with the insurers.
Visit the ER, Urgent Care, or your primary care doctor as soon as possible. You may not feel pain until the next morning, or even a few days later. Be sure to seek medical attention as soon as possible, and when new pains arise. New aches and pains could warrant a more extensive examination, which can help substantiate your claims.
- Take photos of your injuries, any damage caused during the accident, and the scene of the accident from multiple angles
- Visit a doctor if you haven’t already. If you have visited a doctor, follow their care plan and attend all follow-up appointments
- Write down a narrative of what happened while it’s still fresh in your mind
- Make a list of witnesses and their contact information if you know it
- Contact a personal injury attorney who can advise you on next steps
Hiring an attorney generally leads to a better level of representation than the plaintiff could manage on their own. It also usually increases the settlement amount.
Plaintiffs with personal injury claims have the right to compensation that makes them “whole” again. That means compensation for economic losses as well as non-economic damages. Economic damages can include medical expenses, lost income, and property damage. Non-economic damages usually means pain and suffering. Different courts use different systems to calculate how much a plaintiff can receive in pain and suffering.
Florida limits “punitive” damages in personal injury lawsuits to $500,000. The attorney you consult should provide you with a realistic valuation of your claim, both in settlement and at trial.
You can maximize your settlement by knowing what benefits are available under your insurance policy. It also helps to have an experienced attorney who understands how the insurance companies work and how much a jury may award if the case goes to trial. An attorney can also advise on the short-term and long-term impacts of different types of accident.
The vast majority of personal injury cases don’t go to trial. In fact, many claims get resolved before the case even gets filed as a lawsuit. Most cases resolve by settlement before the trial date arrives. A case is most likely to go to trial when the facts are in dispute or when there’s a contested legal issue.
The shortest cases resolve in only a few weeks without even having to file a lawsuit. Sometimes, your attorney can work with the other party or the insurance company to reach a swift resolution. The duration of the case usually depends on how long your treatment takes. The amount of coverage and number of policies at issue may also be factors.
In some cases litigation can continue for a year or more. Most courts in Florida have the standard track for litigation at around 180 days. That means the court expects you to be ready for trial and have the case finished within a year and a half of filing.
Most cases fall somewhere in the middle. The more complicated your case, the longer you can expect it to take. You have some control over the length of your case because it’s up to you to accept or reject settlement offers.
Personal Injury Protection, or PIP, covers $10,000. If you think you will exhaust your PIP benefits, you have the right to file a lawsuit. Learn more about Florida’s PIP rules here.
You may have played a role in causing your injury. If that’s the case, you may still be able to recover under the comparative negligence statute of Florida’s no-fault law. Learn more here.
Pain and suffering compensation is generally only available in the case of a permanent injury. Different courts use different systems to put a number on it. If a case goes to trail, your attorney may call on expert witnesses who can explain the patient’s condition to the jury. The jury then decides on an appropriate figure. A good attorney understands that pain and suffering resulting from an accident can be worse than the economic losses. We will fight to get you compensation that will make you whole again.
Most states have a statute of limitations, or time limit, in which an injured party must file a personal injury lawsuit, starting on the date the injury occurred. In Florida the time limit for filing suit is 4 years from the date when the injury occurred.
A Personal Approach
Drake Law is a family run fun. Jonathan Drake is involved with each case from start to finish, ensuring that each client gets the attention, communication, and justice they deserve.
We’ll work closely with you to understand your situation, explain what you need to know to, and devise a strategy to get you the compensation you deserve.
While many cases settle before they go to court, Jonathan knows what it takes to get a jury verdict in your favor, and is prepared to go to trial if necessary. The choice is always yours.