If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a Tampa accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be eligible to recover financial compensation from the at-fault party in a personal injury claim. In order to give your claim the expert support it requires, you should seek out an attorney who has verifiable success in recovering fair settlements and a reputation among their clients for diligent, compassionate service.
KMW Legal Can Help With Your Personal Injury Claim
The lawyers of Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh have 30 years of combined experience negotiating on behalf of clients to recover maximum compensation. We are willing and able to represent your personal injury claim in negotiations and in court.
Unlike law firms who may urge you to simply accept smaller settlements for their convenience, we won’t push you to agree to a lowball settlement offer that ignores the extent of your damages. KMW Legal’s founding partners have backgrounds in trial experience, which has prepared us to take on powerful insurance companies to recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, property damage, as well as pain and suffering.
Reach out to our Tampa office any time to schedule a strategy session with our team where you can learn more about the process of filing a personal injury lawsuit and what damages you may be eligible to recover.
When Do I Have a Personal Injury Claim?
The first hurdle to demonstrating liability in a personal injury claim is establishing that you were owed what is known as a duty of care. This is a legal responsibility held by parties like manufacturers, property owners, motorists, and healthcare workers to act with a certain level of caution towards the public and other specified parties, such as consumers or invitees.
Connecting the Duty of Care to Injuries and Damages
When a negligent party fails to meet the expectation of their required duty through a reckless action, passive carelessness, or other means, that constitutes a “breach” of said duty. This is the basis of liability in personal injury.
For an injured party to recover financial compensation from a liable party the plaintiff’s lawyer must be able to sufficiently demonstrate that a duty was owed to the injured party. Additionally, the breach of that duty must have caused the harmful accident. The accident in question must then be proven directly responsible for the injury suffered by the party who was owed a duty of care.
Any claims that are made against the liable party for damages must be tied to the injury. For example, a driver paralyzed in a car accident caused by a reckless driver would claim the cost of a wheelchair as a damage in a claim.
What Are the Types of Personal Injury Claims?
Personal injury claims come in a wide variety of forms. Depending on the source of the negligence that caused your injury, the requirements and statute of limitations for pursuing damages may vary.
Common types of Tampa personal injury claims:
- Car Accidents
- Construction Site Accidents
- Rideshare Accidents
- Boating Accidents
- Train Accidents
- Bus Accidents
- Truck Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Pedestrian Accidents
- Bicycle Accidents
- Slip/Trip and Falls
- Medical Malpractice
- Wrongful Death
- Nursing Home Negligence
- Negligent Security
- Dog/Animal Bites
To prevent your claim from being disqualified due to missed deadlines, arbitrary stipulations, or failure to meet the preponderance of evidence standard, seek the counsel of a qualified personal injury lawyer who is familiar with the process of filing and negotiating a personal injury claim.
What are Common Personal Injuries?
After an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may find yourself paying a heavy price in the form of severe personal injuries. These injuries can range widely from traumatic brain injuries to mental injuries like post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Examples of common injuries claimed in a personal injury lawsuit:
- Brain Injury
- Spinal Cord Injury
- Neck and Back Injuries
- Organ Damage
- Fractured or Broken Bones
- Deep Lacerations
- Severe Burns
- Crush Injuries
In cases of disabling injuries, you may be forced to sacrifice a career you love, a promotion you’ve been working towards, a hobby you enjoy, or your independence. Putting a price tag on inconvenience, shame, pain, and loss is a complex process best left to a personal injury attorney with experience evaluating the value of damages.
What Do I Do After Being Injured By Someone Else’s Negligence?
Your first priority after suffering a personal injury should be to seek medical assistance. If you allow your injuries to languish without treatment, you may compromise the amount of compensation you are able to recover because your inaction caused your injuries to worsen, allowing the insurance company to diminish your settlement. Keep a detailed account of your pain, complications that develop, and any communication you have with your doctor or insurance company.
Report Your Accident and Gather Evidence if Possible
If possible, make a report of the accident to the appropriate authorities so there is a record of the incident. In the aftermath of an accident, it is important to establish a chronology of events and relevant details to reference in your claim for damages. To this end, you should also collect the contact information of witnesses and take pictures of the scene.
Remember that you should prioritize your health first and not sacrifice your wellbeing for some pictures of an accident scene. Ask someone to help document the accident if you have to get emergency treatment.
Do Not Admit Fault After Suffering a Personal Injury
Knowing what not to do after an accident is also essential. A common mistake people make is admitting fault. This is easier to do than you may realize. Do not apologize and do not give any unnecessary opinions or speculation regarding the accident or your injuries. Saying something as simple as “I’m sorry” can be construed as an admission of fault and affect a future personal injury claim.
Personal Injury Lawyers Can Make Or Break Your Settlement Recovery
Hire a high-quality personal injury attorney if you have reason to believe your personal injury was caused by negligence. A skilled personal injury lawyer is well-respected by their colleagues, can cite recent references from former clients, and is known to be transparent with their clients about both the demands of the legal process and the expectations they should have for a settlement recovery.
What is the Process of a Personal Injury Claim?
After you have been injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, the process of pursuing a personal injury claim generally follows this outline.
- File a claim for personal injury: This is an informational notice to the negligent party and their insurance carrier that you will be seeking compensation for your injuries. The lawyer you hire will also issue a letter of representation to the negligent party to inform them that they will be serving as your advocate and to formally request insurance information.
- Issue a letter of Demand prior to formally filing a lawsuit: After you have sought medical care and have a clearer picture of your long-term prognosis, your lawyer will draft a letter of demand that details your injuries, treatment, as well as sustained and projected medical costs. The letter will also stipulate the liability of the negligent party in the claim.
- Settlement Negotiation: Your lawyer will hopefully be able to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company that is fair for both parties.
- File a Lawsuit: When an injured client and the representatives of a negligent party cannot agree on a settlement payout, the next step is to file a lawsuit in the form of a Complaint.
- Discovery: The discovery stage of a personal injury lawsuit involves both the plaintiff and the defendant gathering evidence to make their case. Injured clients will need to write a statement describing the events and injury, participate in an interview known as a deposition, and submit to a medical evaluation to independently corroborate your claim.
- Mediation: After both parties complete the discovery phase, there is the opportunity to resolve a settlement dispute through a negotiation process, in the form of mediation or arbitration. Under the guidance of an independent mediator, both sides will attempt to find an acceptable settlement value. Most personal injury cases are resolved at or prior to this stage, without going to trial.
- Trial: In the event that settlement negotiations stall, a personal injury lawsuit may move on to the trial phase during which a judge or jury listens to the facts and decides what settlement you will receive based on the evidence presented.
Who Pays for Personal Injury Medical Bills and Lost Wages?
No two accidents are identical, but generally speaking, a car accident will trigger your Personal Injury Protection benefits to alleviate the cost of medical bills up to $10,000 and a portion of your lost wages. After car insurance and health insurance benefits are applied, you may still be facing costly car repairs, continuing medical expenses, and emotional stress or chronic pain.
A personal injury lawsuit can provide a reprieve from these costs by seeking compensation from the at-fault parties. In most cases, it is the insurance company providing coverage to the at-fault party that will actually be paying for your damages in a settlement. The person that caused the accident typically does not actually compensate the injured party directly although there are exceptions. Large corporations and similar parties with the financial means and a lack of insurance coverage for the damage they caused can end up paying out of their pockets.
How Much Can I Recover in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
The value of your settlement will depend on many factors, including the caliber of the personal injury lawyer you choose to represent you. At the end of the day, it all depends on your injury and how it affects you. Some people with the same injury suffer differently because its effects on their lives. For example, a professional ballet dancer that suffers a shattered knee will likely get a different settlement than the average white collar office worker.
Insurance companies will have an agent evaluate the value of your claim but it is in your best interest to have an attorney on your side that can provide their own appraisal of your damages. KMW Legal has a dependable history of recovering fair compensation for our clients. We openly allow access to recent settlement results for prospective clients to assess our abilities for themselves.
What Damages Can I Recover in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
When insurance companies place a value on the settlement they are willing to offer, they account for costs like medical treatment, lost wages, property damages, and other expenses like mobility aids or transportation fees. Additionally, they’ll consider damages like lost earning capacity, pain and suffering, loss of companionship or guidance, and emotional distress or mental anguish.
A trained insurance claims adjuster will look for ways to pay out the smallest settlement possible, meaning that you cannot count on them to have your best interest in mind. That’s where a tenacious personal injury lawyer can be an invaluable asset in the process of recovering a fair settlement.
How Long Does a Personal Injury Lawsuit Take to Settle?
While no two personal injury cases are exactly the same, most claims are settled in about nine months to a year. If a settlement cannot be agreed upon through pre-trial negotiation practices like mediation or arbitration, a personal injury claim may proceed to trial. While a very limited number of personal injury cases actually go to trial, clients should be prepared for additional months, and often years, of proceedings.
In Florida, the statute of limitations to file a personal injury is four years in most cases, and only two years in claims alleging wrongful death. In order to recover your damages in a timely manner and avoid losing your right to compensation, we recommend seeking out a capable personal injury attorney as soon as possible to review your legal options.
How Much Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Cost?
Like most personal injury lawyers, KMW Legal accepts a contingency fee after we successfully settle your personal injury claim, which typically amounts to about 33% of the settlement or court awards we recover. This means if we get you nothing then we get nothing as well. So you can rest assured that we are invested in the outcome of your case.
In effect, this process ensures that you don’t have to assume any upfront or out-of-pocket costs to recover your damages. This allows injured clients to take advantage of the services of a high-quality personal injury lawyer without driving themselves further into debt.
Personal injury attorneys will also shoulder the costs of legal fees and administrative costs while pursuing a settlement, with the understanding that our ability to recover these costs is dependent on our performance and motivation to recover maximum compensation for your injury.
Why Do I Need a Tampa Personal Injury Lawyer?
A simple accident stemming from someone else’s negligence can have a substantial impact on your physical and mental health, as well as your finances. You may have to make dramatic lifestyle changes to accommodate your injury and mounting financial burdens, but sacrificing your peace of mind to pursue compensation shouldn’t be one of them.
At KMW Legal, a personal injury lawyer will take on the tasks of managing calls with debt collectors, communicating with insurance carriers, reviewing evidence and insurance policies, drafting statements, and championing your personal injury lawsuit in negotiations or at trial to demand the maximum compensation you are eligible for.
KMW Legal is Proud to Serve Personal Injury Clients in Tampa, Florida
Tampa is a city with a growing population of 384,959. Its coastal location, energetic nightlife, and various amenities have attracted young professionals and outdoor enthusiasts, as well as families and retirees.
The lawyers of Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh have spent the last decade protecting Tampa clients from losing out on recovering the true value of their personal injury lawsuit. When a Tampa resident is injured due to someone else’s negligence, our clients know they can rely on KMW Legal’s expertise to develop an individualized strategy that is tailored to their specific needs.
Contact KMW Legal for Help With Your Personal Injury Claim Today
At Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh we understand how intimidating it can be to wade into a legal process that is unfamiliar to most people, especially when your family’s financial future may be at stake. Don’t let that deter you from seeking out support from one of Tampa’s leading personal injury firms.
After someone’s negligent action or careless inaction has jeopardized your health, career, or quality of life, you have the right to pursue compensation for the costs associated with your injury. If you want to ensure you’re considering the full range of expenses like medical bills, lost wages, career setbacks, and pain and suffering, take advantage of KMW Legal’s legal insight to protect your settlement.
Contact us at your convenience to schedule an initial consultation in the form of a strategy session. We offer this free, no-obligation appointment to any prospective client who is interested in gaining a better understanding of the benefits and limitations of a personal injury lawsuit, as well as the level of service you can expect from the lawyers of KMW Legal.