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An unexpected accident can have devastating consequences. You may struggle with painful physical injuries and require extensive medical treatment. You may be unable to attend work and lose weeks or months of wages. The emotional, physical, and financial impact of the accident can be overwhelming, especially if someone else’s negligence is responsible for your injuries. In these situations, however, you may be eligible for financial compensation.

The Tampa personal injury lawyers at Salter, Healy, Rivera & Heptner can represent you in your lawsuit and help you recover the compensation you deserve. With over 60 years of combined personal injury experience and millions of dollars recovered for our clients, our firm has the skills, experience, and knowledge necessary to hold the at-fault party accountable and craft a compelling case in your favor. Reach out today to schedule a free case consultation.

Why Choose Us

  • Our injury attorneys will work directly with you throughout your case. You will always be able to ask questions, raise concerns, and receive important case updates so that you remain informed throughout the process.
  • Our firm operates on a contingency fee basis, meaning that we will not charge legal fees unless we secure compensation in your case. This limits the out-of-pocket costs associated with your case.
  • We understand how painful a personal injury can be. Our personal injury attorneys will handle all aspects of your case on your behalf and will gladly meet with you at your home or hospital room for maximum convenience.

Common Causes of Personal Injuries in Tampa, FL

A personal injury occurs when you sustain harm to your body, mind, or emotions due to the actions of another person, entity, or government agency. Through a Florida personal injury lawsuit, you can recover compensation to pay for the losses you experienced due to this harm. A personal injury claim can arise due to an accident, intentional act of violence, or encounter with a dangerous or defective product.

At Salter, Healy, Rivera, & Heptner, our Tampa injury attorneys have experience representing multiple types of personal injury claims. Some of the most common cases we handle include the following.

How to Prove a Tampa Personal Injury Lawsuit

Personal injury claims typically arise due to an act of negligence, or a person’s breach of a certain duty of care that leads to an injury. To secure compensation in a personal injury lawsuit, you will need to provide sufficient evidence of the at-fault party’s breach of duty. Specifically, you and your injury lawyer will need to prove four important elements.

  • Duty of care: The at-fault party owed you a duty of care at the time of the accident. This duty will vary based on the circumstances surrounding your accident. For example, drivers owe a duty to follow traffic laws and drive safely.
  • Breach of duty: The at-fault party breached his or her duty of care through a negligent act or omission. For example, a driver who runs a red light or fails to yield the right of way breaches his or her duty to follow traffic laws.
  • Causation: The at-fault party’s breach of duty caused your accident and your resulting injuries. You can use multiple pieces of evidence to prove causation, including surveillance footage, witness testimony, medical records, and police reports.
  • Damages: You sustained damages in the accident that you can collect through your lawsuit. These may include medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering.

Comparative Negligence in Florida

Although you may be able to establish each of these elements, issues of shared liability may arise. The at-fault party may attempt to defend himself or herself by saying that you are also responsible for the accident. In these situations, Florida’s pure comparative negligence rules may apply, and your award may be reduced by the percentage of fault you share. Unlike other states, Florida allows you to collect compensation even if you are 99% at fault.

For example, say that you are injured when you trip and fall on cracked pavement on someone’s property. You file a lawsuit against the property owner for $20,000. The owner claims that you were distracted by your phone at the time of the accident and share fault for the accident. The court assigns you 20% of the liability, and you will only recover $16,000 of your original award.

What To Do After an Injury

There are various steps that individuals can take after sustaining a personal injury in the Tampa area. These steps can help ensure the well-being of the victim as well as help protect their insurance claim or civil lawsuit.

  1. Report the injury. The first step is reporting the injury to the appropriate authorities. This will vary depending on the injury situation. For example, car accident injury victims need to report the incident to law enforcement so police can conduct an investigation. Workplace injury victims should report the incident to their employer. Those who sustain injuries on another person’s property need to let the property owner or manager know right away.
  2. Seek medical care. Anytime a person sustains an injury, they need to seek medical care, regardless of whether or not the injury seems severe. Sometimes, the signs and symptoms of injuries do not appear until hours or days after the incident occurs. Individuals need to let a doctor conduct an evaluation and determine the course of treatment.
  3. Gather evidence. Individuals are often able to gather evidence at the scene of an incident. This can include using a phone or some other recording device to take photographs or video surveillance of everything in the area. This should also include obtaining the names and contact information of any eyewitnesses to the injury so they can give their statements at a later date. 
  4. Contact insurance. Most personal injury claims are resolved through settlements with insurance carriers, but the insurance carrier needs to be made aware of the incident fairly soon after it occurs. This can include vehicle insurance carriers, homeowners’ insurance carriers, or some other type of insurance policy. However, please do not give a recorded statement to the insurance carriers. In fact, you should refer any questions related to your injury to your attorney.
  5. Call a lawyer. Working with a skilled personal injury lawyer in Tampa right away is important. When a lawyer can get involved quickly, they can help make sure that you follow every step necessary to obtain the compensation you need. An attorney will handle all communication with other parties involved. 

Timeline of Your Personal Injury Case

There are specific deadlines in place for filing personal injury claims in Florida. The statute of limitations for a civil personal injury lawsuit in this state is four years from the date an injury occurs. This means that the personal injury victim must file the lawsuit against the alleged negligent party within four years, or they will most certainly not be able to recover the compensation they are entitled to. This may seem like a longer period of time to file a claim, but it is important to file a claim as soon as possible. 

Waiting too long could result in a situation where the evidence has been discarded or destroyed or where memories of the incident have faded. We strongly encourage you to speak to a skilled personal injury lawyer in Tampa as soon as possible after you sustain an injury caused by the negligent actions of another party.

There are various exceptions to the statute of limitations, so we encourage you to discuss your case with an attorney even if you think you may not be able to file a claim anymore.

Why You Need a Tampa Personal Injury Lawyer

If you are filing a personal injury lawsuit in Tampa, Florida, you need an attorney on your side. At Salter, Healy, Rivera & Heptner, our Tampa personal injury lawyers have the skills, experience, and knowledge necessary to craft a compelling case in your favor. Hiring an attorney to represent your injury case can provide several important benefits, including the following.

  • Your lawyer will have extensive experience representing personal injury claims and will know the steps necessary to file a successful lawsuit. They will guide you through each stage of the process and help you prepare along the way.
  • You may need to negotiate with insurance companies or defense attorneys during various stages of your claim. Your lawyer will have the skills necessary to handle these conversations on your behalf and advocate for your best interests.
  • Some components of your case may be very complex. In these situations, your personal injury lawyer will have access to expert witnesses, such as medical providers and accident reconstruction specialists, who can evaluate these elements and provide testimony on your behalf.
  • You may not know the full extent of your injuries and damages. Your attorney will be able to evaluate your losses, including long-term care costs and intangible pain and suffering damages, and calculate an accurate estimate of your award. They will then be able to evaluate any settlement offers you receive, avoiding an insufficient settlement.

Schedule a Free Consultation Today

If you are involved in an accident caused by someone else, such as a car accident in Tampa, you may have grounds for legal action. In these situations, the Tampa injury attorneys at Salter, Healy, Rivera & Heptner can help you hold the at-fault party accountable and secure the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to schedule your free case consultation and discuss your legal options with a Tampa injury lawyer.

If your injury happened in St. Petersburg, contact our St. Petersburg personal injury lawyers.

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