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St. Petersburg Personal Injury Attorney

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The St. Petersburg personal injury attorneys at Salter, Healy, Rivera & Heptner are committed to getting full compensation for our clients. A serious injury can completely turn your life upside down and cause you financial hardship. Our experienced lawyers are prepared to help you pursue a personal injury case. You deserve compensation for your injury, and we can make sure the liable party is held accountable for their actions.

Our St. Petersburg FL personal injury attorneys at Salter, Healy, Rivera & Heptner are ready to review your case and determine how to get you the best result possible. Read more about personal injury claims below, then call our office to schedule your free consultation.

Personal Injury Resources

Why Choose Us

  • Our St. Petersburg injury attorneys have decades of combined experience in personal injury litigation. We have helped injured people across the state of Florida secure the compensation they need to recover.
  • Our law firm prioritizes direct and honest communication throughout your claim. Your attorney will work directly on your case and will be available to answer questions, respond to concerns, and provide updates.
  • The aftermath of a personal injury can be painful and require weeks of recovery time. Our injury lawyers will handle all aspects of your claim so you can focus on healing, not complex litigation or dealing with insurance companies.

Do I Need to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?

It can be difficult to know whether or not you need an attorney to help you with your claim. The reality is that most people do not deal with lawyers or legal issues on a regular basis, so this part of the process can be confusing. Some people may want to file an injury claim on their own, and this may suffice if it is a simple, straightforward injury claim with a low dollar value. Often, those types of cases are resolved through settlements with insurance carriers.

However, we strongly caution individuals not to trust insurance carriers and to reach out to a skilled lawyer as soon as possible. If there are any issues of liability or pushback from the insurance carrier related to payouts, an attorney will go a long way towards helping secure the compensation and injury victim needs.

When an attorney gets involved, they will use their resources to fully investigate every aspect of the claim. The goal is to find enough evidence to prove liability definitively. An attorney will also help properly calculate total expected losses and then negotiate with insurance carriers or legal teams involved. Finally, if it becomes necessary to take your case to trial, your lawyer will fully prepare and be ready to represent you in court.

Do not try to move forward with a complex personal injury claim on your own. The insurance carriers and legal team for the at-fault party will use their extensive knowledge and experience against you. Secure assistance from a St. Petersburg personal injury attorney today.

Important First Steps for Any Case

One of the most important things to remember about a personal injury case is that your health is more important than anything else. You should get to a medical professional to seek out treatment as soon as possible. Your injuries could get worse if you ignore them. You also want documented proof that your injuries were from your accident to show to the insurance company that their insured is, in fact, liable for your injuries.

Also, it is important at the scene of the accident to collect as much evidence as possible. You can take photos and get contact information from witnesses. You may want to collect video from any security cameras nearby that might have picked up the event and you should never leave the scene without some proof that you were there. That could be making an accident report or having the police come to the scene to fill out a report.

Types of Personal Injury Cases We Represent

Personal injury is a term that covers a lot of different types of accidents. We represent a variety of personal injury cases that include:

  • Motor Vehicle / Traffic Accidents. Vehicle accidents are the leading cause of injuries across this state each year. These incidents include not only crashes between traditional passenger vehicles, but also incidents involving larger commercial trucks, buses, motorcycles, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Not only does our team handle these types of incidents, but we also handle nuanced crashes like those between Uber and Lyft vehicles and others. Vehicle accidents often result in significant injuries, and recovering compensation through an insurance settlement can be challenging.
  • Slip & Falls. Slip and fall incidents can occur in a wide variety of ways. Considered premises liability claims, slip and fall incidents occur due to wet floors, loose carpeting or rugs, items strewn across pedestrian pathways, wobbly stairs, and more. This can also include trip and fall incidents that can also result in significant injuries from those involved. Slip and fall and trip and fall incidents are much more common on construction sites where workers have to contend with an array of obstacles each day.
  • Wrongful Death. Unfortunately, there are times when the careless or negligent actions of others lead to the untimely death of a victim. Anytime a person loses their life due to the negligence of others, their family members or the estate of the deceased will likely be able to recover compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit.

Every case is different and each type of personal injury requires specialized experience to handle it effectively. We have handled these types of cases for years and are confident to take on yours. 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.

If you have been injured in any of these kinds of accidents, please do not hesitate to reach out to our St. Petersburg personal injury lawyers to see what we can do for you.

Potential Damages for St. Petersburg Personal Injury Victims

Through an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit, you have the right to recover monetary damages for the losses you sustained in your accident. You can secure compensation for economic damages, or the financial losses you experienced due to your injuries. You can also recover compensation for your non-economic damages, or the physical and emotional impact of the accident. Some of the most common damages available to personal injury plaintiffs include the following.

  • All past and future medical expenses related to your accident, including hospitalizations, surgeries, and doctor’s visits
  • Lost wages during your recovery period
  • Property damage sustained in the car accident
  • Loss of future earnings if you are unable to return to work due to your injuries
  • Disability accommodations, such as mobility equipment, home and vehicle modifications, and live-in care
  • Rehabilitation, physical therapy, and other types of specialized treatment
  • Physical pain and suffering, such as chronic pain, permanent disability, or disfigurement
  • Emotional pain and suffering, including emotional distress, mental anguish, depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder

Common Injuries in Personal Injury Cases

Personal injury victims often sustain debilitating injuries that require extensive medical care and sometimes result in permanent long-term complications. At Salter, Healy, Rivera & Heptner, our St. Petersburg personal injury lawyers have handled claims that involve multiple types of injuries, including the following.

  • Traumatic Brain Injuries. Brain injuries can range from mild to moderate and severe. These injuries can lead to catastrophic disabilities for individuals involved, and severe brain injuries often result in death. Those who sustain traumatic brain injuries need to account for the totality of the effects on their life when working to recover compensation.
  • Spinal Cord Injuries. Spinal cord injuries can affect individuals in a variety of ways. In some cases, a spinal cord injury will result in complete or partial paralysis. In other cases, individuals may not be completely paralyzed but could still suffer from effects that disable them and prevent them from carrying out day-to-day or working at companies.
  • Amputation. Amputations can occur in a variety of traumatic types of incidents. This can include workplace injuries, mishaps with tools, defective product incidents, vehicle accidents, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian and bicycle incidents, and more. Along with amputation injuries, individuals can also experience crush injuries, where a portion of their body gets crushed in between two heavier objects. This can have devastating internal and external traumatic effects on the limb or area of the body affected. 
  • Burns and scarring. Individuals can sustain burn injuries that range from relatively mild to severe. Severe burn injuries often lead to infections and typically require extensive surgical care and recovery processes in order for a person to be made whole. Severe burns can lead to scarring and disfigurement that affects an individual for the rest of their life.
  • Broken Bones. Individuals can sustain broken and dislocated bones due to a wide variety of incidents. This includes vehicle accidents, workplace incidents, slip and fall incidents, and more. These same causes of injury for broken bones can also lead to significant muscle strains and ligaments brains that lead to a person needing medical care and recovery time.
  • Lacerations. Lacerations often occurred due to vehicle accidents, workplace mishaps, defective products, violent assaults, as well as dog and animal bite injuries.
  • Internal Organ Damage. Traumatic incidents can lead to internal organ damage or internal bleeding. Often, these types of injuries are not immediately visible after an incident occurs. However, internal bleeding and internal organ damage can lead to life-threatening consequences if not properly treated.

If you do not see your exact injury on this list, that is fine. We encourage you to reach out to one of our attorneys, who can help guide you toward the best possible path of recovering compensation. We offer free case evaluations, so we can examine your particular situation.

How to Prove a Personal Injury Lawsuit in St. Petersburg

To secure compensation in a Florida personal injury lawsuit, you will need to establish the at-fault party’s negligence. Specifically, you and your injury lawyer will need to gather enough evidence to support the following four facts.

  • Duty of care: The at-fault party owed you a duty of care at the time of the accident. This element will depend on the type of accident you experienced. For example, drivers have a duty to follow traffic laws and drive safely. Property owners have a responsibility to maintain safe premises.
  • Breach of duty: The at-fault party breached his or her duty of care to you through a negligent act or failure to act. For example, a driver who fails to yield the right of way breaches his or her duty to follow traffic laws. A property owner who fails to repair cracked pavement also breaches his or her duty to maintain safe premises.
  • Causation: The at-fault party’s breach of duty caused your accident and your resulting injuries. For example, say that you are injured by a driver who runs a red light. If the driver had upheld his or her duty of care and stopped at the light, the accident would not have occurred.
  • Damages: You sustained damages due to the accident that you can collect in your lawsuit. You can collect compensation for your financial losses, as well as your physical and emotional pain and suffering.

While these elements may seem straightforward, proving negligence can be complex in certain cases. For example, multiple parties may be involved in your accident, and you will need to identify the at-fault individual. You may struggle to identify the at-fault party’s breach of duty and gather the evidence necessary to prove his or her liability.

In these situations, the experienced injury lawyers from Salter, Healy, Rivera & Heptner can help. Our attorneys will conduct a full investigation into your accident and help prove your right to compensation. Your attorney can also enlist the help of expert witnesses, such as car accident reconstruction specialists and medical professionals, who can testify on your behalf and help solve complex areas of your case.

Compensation Rules in Florida

Florida allows for you to receive compensation even if you are partially at fault for the accident. The way it works is that your role in the accident that caused your injury is deliberated and you are given a percentage from 0-100 that will account for your shared fault. This is called pure comparative negligence.

If you are deemed 100% at fault, you will get no compensation. If you get 0% fault, you will receive full compensation. If you are somewhere in between, your award will be reduced. For example, if you have been deemed 20% at fault, and have been awarded $100,000 in damages, you will have it reduced to $80,000. Our St. Petersburg, FL personal injury attorneys will work very hard to keep you from getting pinned for any of the blame so that you get the fullest amount of compensation. st. petersburg injury law firm

How Much Is Your St. Petersburg Personal Injury Case Worth?

When you are filing a personal injury claim, you may wonder how much compensation you can expect to receive at the end of the litigation process. It can be very difficult to calculate the full extent of your damages without speaking with an injury attorney. However, there are certain factors that can influence the value of your case.

The more severe your injury, the higher your potential settlement will likely be. This is because the bulk of your personal injury award will likely pay for medical expenses, and serious injuries often require extensive medical care, disability accommodations, and specialized treatment. You will also need a longer recovery period, which will result in larger amounts of lost wages. Pain and suffering awards are sometimes based on injury severity and recovery time, so the non-economic portion of your settlement will likely increase with a more severe injury.

Additional factors that could influence your personal injury settlement value include the following.

  • Whether or not you share fault for the accident
  • Whether you sustained emotional or mental trauma
  • Whether your injuries have disrupted your daily life
  • The length of your recovery period
  • Whether you developed a permanent disability

Florida Personal Injury Statute of Limitations

Statutes of limitations is the amount of time in which you can wait before pursuing a personal injury attorney. In Florida, for most personal injury cases, you have four years from the date of your injury to either bring your claim or settle it in civil court. Personal injury cases such as medical malpractice will have a shorter statute of limitations. To be sure about your time limits, contact our knowledgeable St. Petersburg personal injury lawyers as soon as possible to ensure you are on track to receive compensation.

Avoid Talking to the Liable Party’s Insurance Company

Our injury lawyers want you to avoid being blamed for this accident and a huge part of that is making sure the insurance company that represents the liable party does not speak to you without us present. They will call you shortly after you are injured to see if you will give them a recorded statement. While they claim for it to be helpful to you, it will only be detrimental to your case. 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 personal injury 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 injury 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.

How Much Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Cost?

After experiencing an injury, many people fail to seek legal representation for their insurance claims or lawsuits due to the perceived expenses. Few people can afford to pay legal fees out of pocket, and finances can become very strained after a serious accident. At Salter, Healy, Rivera & Heptner, we recognize these circumstances and our injury lawyers charge a contingency fee for maximum affordability.

Under a contingency fee arrangement, you will not be charged legal fees unless our lawyers secure compensation in your case. If we do obtain an award on your behalf, we will take an agreed-upon percentage as payment. This arrangement limits your out-of-pocket costs and makes legal representation more accessible. Your St. Petersburg personal injury lawyer will discuss your contingency fee agreement in detail at the beginning of your case so that you understand what to expect.

If you are seeking compensation for an accident in Florida, please do not hesitate to call our law office and set up a free consultation with our experienced St. Petersburg personal injury attorneys. We will make sure you understand what steps you need to take in order get the compensation you deserve, and we will help you every step of the way. To get started on your personal injury case, send us a message online or call our firm today at (727) 321-4357.

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