Personal Injury Lawyers St. Petersburg, FL
Quality legal counsel for a variety of accident cases
Personal injury is the area of civil law that enforces the rights of injured parties to compensation for the harm they’ve suffered. An injured plaintiff must prove that someone was negligent, reckless or deliberate in an act or omission that directly caused physical harm. At Salter, Healy, Bassett & Rivera, our dedicated attorneys have experience in a wide variety of personal injury cases, such as:
- Auto accidents. Our legal team represents injured operators, passengers, bicyclists and pedestrians who are seriously injured in car accidents, truck accidents, and motorcycle accidents.
- Boating accidents. Serving clients in the greater St. Petersburg area, we have vast experience in boating accident cases involving commercial, recreational and privately owned watercraft.
- Catastrophic injuries. We have experience representing clients who’ve suffered permanent, life-altering harm, such as brain injury and spinal injury. We also fight for families who’ve lost a loved one in a wrongful death incident.
- Premises liability. We handle a variety of premises liability claims, ranging from dog bites to slip and fall accidents.
- Medical malpractice. We hold numerous types of healthcare providers accountable for negligence in medical malpractice litigation.
Through principled negotiation and litigation in state and federal court, we have had great success obtaining damage settlements and jury awards to compensate our clients for medical bills, lost earnings, pain and suffering and other compensable losses.
What you need to know about Florida personal injury law
Florida’s statute of limitations allows an injured party four years from the date of an injury event to file a lawsuit. Damages an injured plaintiff can claim are divided into economic (or specific) damages and noneconomic (or general) damages. Your economic damages refer to the amount of money you lost (and might anticipate losing in the future) as a result of your personal injuries, due to such factors as:
- Medical bills
- Missed work or reduced income due to disability
- Rehabilitation costs
- Modification of a home or vehicle to accommodate a disability
Your noneconomic (general) damages are real injuries that are not easily quantified in terms of money, such as:
- Loss of quality of life
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Physical pain and mental suffering
- Loss of consortium
Personal injury claims are subject to Florida’s comparative negligence law, which reduces the amount an injured party can recover if the injured party is partly responsible for the harm. For example, if you suffered $100,000 in losses, but the court found you were 20 percent at fault, you would only be able to collected $80,000 in compensation from the defendant. A controversial 2003 statute placed a cap on the amount of noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases only.
Why you should hire a lawyer to manage your personal injury claim in St. Petersburg, FL
After certain injury events, such as an auto accident or surgical mishap, an insurance company for the at-fault party may contact you to negotiate a settlement. These representatives can be very amenable, especially in the first few encounters, as they attempt to persuade you that you don’t need an attorney to get a fair settlement. However, we can say with full confidence based on decades of experience that injured parties do substantially better when they have professional legal representation. The reasons you’re better off with a lawyer include:
- Knowledge of the law and procedure — If you’ve suffered a serious injury, do you really have the time and energy to learn everything you need to know to successfully prosecute a lawsuit?
- Experienced investigators — A lawsuit is not about what you know; it’s about what you can prove. An established law firm has access to skilled investigators and can use the discovery process to compel defendants to hand over important information.
- Knowledge of “what’s fair” for an injury like yours — Can you put a price on your injuries? An experienced attorney has knowledge of prior settlements and jury awards for cases like yours and can use that knowledge to leverage a fair settlement.
- Negotiating strength — Retaining a lawyer with a track record of successful cases sends a strong signal that you expect the maximum amount possible for your injuries.
- No costs to you — There are serious costs to prosecuting an injury lawsuit, and defendants use delaying tactics to drive those costs up. If you are out of work and are having trouble meeting your medical bills, can you really afford to finance your litigation? Fortunately, our attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means there are no upfront costs to you, and you pay us nothing until you recover compensation through a settlement or jury award.
You can trust an experienced trial lawyer at Salter, Healy, Bassett & Rivera to give your case the attention necessary to secure an appropriate damage settlement or verdict. We are passionate about our work in the courtroom and want to use that passion to help you.
Contact a personal injury attorney in St. Petersburg for more assistance
To get answers to any further questions, arrange a free consultation. Contact Salter, Healy, Bassett & Rivera at 727.321.HELP (4357) or online. If you can’t make it to our offices, we will come to you.