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St. Petersburg Personal Injury Lawyers
Negligence and Your Injuries
When another person fails to use the same care that a reasonable careful person would use in similar circumstances, that person is negligent. While you may use as much care and caution as possible, you may experience serious injury by someone who failed to do the same.
Serious injuries can turn your world upside down in an instant. Your ability to work or to enjoy your favorite activities can come to a complete stop. Depending upon the severity of your injuries, you may never return to a career that you worked hard to build.
The skilled personal injury trial lawyers at Gomez Trial Attorneys are committed to helping members of the St. Petersburg community who find themselves in this stressful position. The costs associated with your injuries should not come from your own pocket. Your life may never return to the way it was before the accident, and that is not fair. If you experienced serious injuries due to the negligence of another person, contact Gomez Trial Attorneys now.
Common Types of Personal Injury Cases
Car accidents are one of the most common types of personal injury cases. Other types of personal injury cases include:
- Slip and fall accidents
- Truck accidents
- Construction accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Dog bites
- Product liability
- Pedestrian accidents
- Premises liability
- Bicycle Accident
- Rideshare Accident
A personal injury case can involve one or more of the following types of serious harm:
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) – The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) defines a traumatic brain injury as a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that disrupts normal brain function.
A brain injury can affect you or a loved one in the following ways:
- Cognitive function: Effects such skills as thought processing and memory.
- Motor function: Effects mobility, balance, and results in muscle weakness.
- Sensations: Effects such sensations as taste, touch, hearing, and vision.
- Behavior/emotions: Affects the ability to control anger and increases the risk of depression.
If your loved one experienced a severe brain injury, they may require more care than you can provide. Placing your loved one in a skilled nursing facility is never an easy decision. Such facilities are expensive, with an average cost of $8,365 per month. Your loved one deserves quality care. Discussing your case with a member of our team is the best way to explore your legal options.
Accident victims who experience such a catastrophic injury often rely on a power chair for mobility. Home modifications are generally necessary to accommodate the power chair. Modifications to vehicles—or the purchase of accessible transportation—is another necessary expense.
Power chairs, vehicles, and other important necessities require frequent replacements throughout the years. According to the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, the costs associated with a spinal cord injury can reach into the millions of dollars throughout the patient’s lifetime.
Internal injuries – Some of the most dangerous injuries are those that exhibit no signs or symptoms. Internal injuries like that of internal bleeding can damage organs and result in death if left untreated. Seeking immediate medical attention following an injury is imperative for your health and any future litigation. Medical records can serve as valuable evidence for your case.
Broken bones – A traumatic accident can leave you with more than just a broken arm or leg. How the bone breaks within your body can determine your recovery time.
The types of bone fractures include:
- Transverse: The break is in a straight line across the bone.
- Oblique: The break is diagonal across the bone.
- Compression: The bone is crushed.
- Comminuted: The break is in three or more places and fragments are present at the fracture site.
These are just a few examples of the way a bone may fracture as the result of an accident. Your fracture may require future surgeries, extensive physical therapy, and result in a long recovery. You may need assistance with daily tasks such as bathing and dressing.
Burns – Burns come with a substantial risk of serious infection. Many patients require specialized care at a burn center, often placing them far from family and friends. Plastic surgery can help with scarring. Some patients find counseling helpful for dealing with the emotional stress of such an injury. speak to an experienced St. Petersburg burn injury lawyer today to learn how you can get the compensation you need.
Serious injuries like these and others require expensive medical care that can continue throughout your lifetime. Medical costs continue to climb, making the need for financial compensation even more vital for one’s future if they are injured. If you or your loved one was seriously injured due to no fault of their own, legal representation may be necessary to ensure that you or your loved one has the funds necessary for medical care and much-needed peace-of-mind.
Common Causes of Car Accidents
You may make every effort to drive defensively and obey every traffic rule while on the road. All it takes for your life to change in an instant is one driver who chooses to drive negligently or recklessly. One person’s careless behavior, either before getting behind the wheel or while driving, can affect the lives of the drivers on the road—including yours.
Numerous public safety campaigns and stricter laws have done little to discourage drivers from engaging in the following behaviors:
- Drunk driving
- Distracted driving
- Aggressive driving
- Drowsy driving
Distracted driving is of growing concern as drivers continue to text and drive. According to the CDC, there are three main types of distraction:
- Visual: takes your eyes off the road.
- Manual: takes your hands off the wheel.
- Cognitive: takes your mind off driving.
Texting while driving involves all three, according to the CDC data. A survey conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that 78 percent of those surveyed view texting and driving as a real danger on city streets and highways. Despite this, as many as 35 percent admitted to sending an email or text while driving.
An especially traumatic injury can result in one—or more—of the types of injuries listed above. If you or a loved one suffered one of those injuries, or some other form of harm from an accident due to someone else’s negligence, a lawyer can help you demand justice and accountability from the responsible party. Inquire about your options by reaching out to Gomez Trial Attorneys as soon as possible.
Fatal Injuries and Wrongful Death
An accident that results in the death of a close loved one is devastating. Learning that your loved one’s death was preventable, had the other person used reasonable care, is especially distressing. No amount of money can fill the void left by the loss of your loved one. Pursuing financial compensation can, however, help ease the financial burden for items such as funeral costs and loss of income.
Your relationship to the decedent is a key factor in determining whether you are eligible to pursue a claim. Wrongful death cases are quite complex and mourning your loss leaves little time to deal with the details of your case. By hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer, you can breathe easier knowing your case is in experienced hands.
Do not let insurance company representatives pressure you into accepting less than you deserve. Insurance companies typically want to settle cases quickly and cheaply and sometimes attempt to pressure families into making important decisions during their time of grief. It’s important not to make important financial decisions in haste. Instead, focus on grieving and healing, and leave the legal details to our trusted team.
St. Petersburg Personal Injury Frequently Asked Questions
Car accidents, defective products, and dog bites—these are just some examples of things that can cause serious personal injuries to victims and leave them wondering what steps to take next. These injuries can be especially pressing if they are going to lose time from work, face mounting medical bills, and have life-long health effects. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions that victims with personal injuries ask lawyers during their initial consultations.
Do I have grounds for a St. Petersburg personal injury lawsuit?
If you were injured in any type of incident which involved negligent behavior on someone else’s part, you may have grounds for a personal injury case. To be certain that this is the case for you, you should contact a personal injury attorney who can review the facts and help you make a decision moving forward.
What types of injuries warrant a St. Petersburg personal injury lawsuit?
Victims of negligence or deliberate actions may suffer various injuries, including:
- Broken bones – Car accidents, trip and fall accidents, and other types of incidents can result in broken bones which may warrant a personal injury lawsuit.
- Whiplash – Typically occurring in a car accident, whiplash could result in long-term pain for victims. While some people only require a few weeks to recover, others can wait months for a full recovery.
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI) – these types of injuries can be devastating for victims and their families. Generally, Victims suffer life-long problems, ranging from depression to an inability to perform routine tasks.
- Medical problems caused by devices or drugs – Lawsuits have been filed as a result of dangerous drugs and defective devices (such as hips or mesh implants). If you have suffered any medical problems due to a problem with medication or a medical device, you should consult a St. Petersburg personal injury attorney with experience in handling these types of cases.
Other types of injuries may warrant a lawsuit. Speak with our St. Petersburg personal injury attorneys after you suffer an injury that you believe could have been avoided if someone had acted properly.
There is a possibility I cannot return to work due to my injuries—what happens now?
Unfortunately, there are cases where victims suffer a very serious injury, such as a spinal cord injury, resulting in full and permanent disability. You may have the right to hold the responsible party financially accountable for the losses that you and your family suffer as a result of your injuries. You may be entitled to file a lawsuit for not only the current wages you are losing in the immediate aftermath of the injury, but for future lost wages and benefits. This is why it is so important that you seek legal help. You want to make sure that your family’s standard of living is not compromised because of someone else’s negligence.
Why should I hire an attorney to file a St. Petersburg personal injury lawsuit? Can I file on my own?
No—it’s a terrible mistake to even try. Insurers have teams of high-priced lawyers who are there to protect them. Insurance companies may have contracts with their policyholders, but their bottom line is protecting their shareholders. Unless you have experience going up against a well-trained legal team with plenty of resources, you might not reach the level of potential compensation that you might otherwise get to as a client of a skilled personal injury legal team.
How long will it take to settle a St. Petersburg personal injury lawsuit?
There are no easy answers to this question because it depends on many factors. First, remember that many cases may never go to trial because the insurance company involved is willing to negotiate with your lawyer and offer a fair settlement. If this happens, your case is going to settle sooner.
However, if the insurance company is not being reasonable and your case is headed to trial, it would take time to get a court date, pick a jury, handle the trial, and receive a verdict. Once the verdict is handed down, it may still take some time before you see any money from the award because it could be appealed. Speak with your St. Petersburg personal injury attorney about time frames during your initial consultation.
How much compensation can be recovered in a St. Petersburg personal injury lawsuit?
This is one of the most difficult questions asked by victims of personal injury. The simple, if unsatisfying, answer is, it depends. For example, a person who suffers a broken leg from falling down a flight of stairs because the handrail was broken is likely to recover far less in compensation than a person who suffered TBI in a car accident. This is because of relativity; the more financial losses your injuries result in, the higher the demand for financial compensation will be. This increases the likelihood that a higher settlement will result.
Some types of compensation you might pursue include the costs of medical bills, compensation for lost wages, damage to personal property, and—in some cases—you may ask for punitive damages as well as pain and suffering. Discuss these matters with a lawyer so you understand what your options are and what types of compensation you should pursue.
What happens if an insurer makes an offer soon after an accident where I suffered a serious personal injury in St. Petersburg?
You should contact our St. Petersburg personal injury lawyers immediately. We see this all the time.
One of the tactics that some insurers use to pay out less in settlements is making a quick offer. In fact, many victims who have suffered serious injury are often told that the insurance company is offering them the “maximum amount” they will pay out for their claim.
The reality is that the insurer is hoping the victims will not reach out to an experienced attorney with a proven track record of handling personal injury cases. You may be entitled to far more than the offer suggests. Generally, by accepting the initial offer, you are forfeiting the right to seek additional payment for medical bills and other costs incurred as a direct result of your injuries.
I was injured by a drunk driver—they are facing criminal charges. What does this mean for a St. Petersburg personal injury claim?
Depending on various circumstances, the driver could be facing criminal charges in addition to being responsible for your injuries. However, you should be aware that criminal cases and personal injury cases are not the same. Victims may still have the right to pursue a personal injury lawsuit (a civil action) regardless of any criminal charges the responsible party is facing.
Not only would you not need to wait for the criminal case to be determined, you should also be aware that a not-guilty verdict will not necessarily decrease the strength of your personal injury suit. The two cases are entirely separate from each other. When trying criminal cases, the prosecutor must prove criminal conduct. When a civil case goes to court, your lawyer need only prove the person who caused your injury acted negligently and that your injury would not have occurred had it not been for their negligence.
What happens if the insurer claims my injuries already existed?
Call us—this is a fairly common practice among insurance companies after a claim is filed. For example, assume you have had problems with your back, or headaches that you successfully treated in the past. If you are in an accident that results in a head or back injury, chances are these problems are going to be exacerbated.
This does not mean the person who was responsible for your injury cannot be held accountable. In fact, they could still be liable for your injuries. Make sure you discuss your prior medical history with your lawyer so they understand that this is something that may come up during the lawsuit.
What options are available if my spouse/parent dies due to someone’s actions in St. Petersburg?
If someone’s negligent behavior or deliberate act resulted in the death of a loved one, you may have the grounds to file a wrongful death lawsuit. These are another type of personal injury case, and they can be extremely complicated.
However, these cases may allow you to seek certain expenses and punitive damages, including:
- Medical bills – The costs incurred before the death of your loved one.
- Pain and suffering – The pain and suffering your loved one experienced before their death.
- Loss of companionship – This is a broad category and includes loss of consortium and counsel.
- Burial expenses – Expenses associated with the funeral and burial of your loved one.
- Loss of income – The financial devastation a family could face when a breadwinner suddenly loses their lives is significant. Claiming lost wages can help keep your family from falling into financial ruin.
No amount of money can ever compensate you for the loss of a loved one. However, your family should not have to bear the financial burden of the loss of income or the loss of benefits that your loved one would have enjoyed had their lives not been cut short due to negligence or a deliberate action.
How can you determine who is responsible for my St. Petersburg personal injury?
Oftentimes, determining who is responsible for an injury can be simple: for example, if you suffer an injury due to a drunk driver, it is more likely that the driver is the only one at fault. However, if your injury resulted from an accident with a truck driver, there may be other parties that could be partially liable for your injury. This is another reason why hiring an attorney can be helpful after you suffer an injury due to negligent behavior.
A highly experienced lawyer would know what to look for in determining who may be responsible. For example, if a truck driver caused an accident because he was driving while drowsy, their employer may be partially responsible for not enforcing the rules. Your attorney would use an investigator to make sure they pursue compensation from the parties responsible.
How do I pay for your St. Petersburg personal injury lawyers if I am not working?
This is always a question that victims ask when considering a lawsuit for personal injuries. First, you should know your initial consultation is free and there is no obligation for you to hire the attorney. Finally, if you do decide to move forward with a lawsuit, personal injury lawyers generally take cases on a contingency fee basis.
While these are the most common questions victims ask personal injury lawyers, you may have other questions for which you need answers. For answers to all of your questions regarding St. Petersburg personal injury cases, contact a personal injury attorney today. Start focusing on your physical recovery and let an attorney take the steps necessary to help you recover financially from your injuries.
How Gomez Trial Attorneys Can Help You
Insurance companies may contact you soon after your accident to offer you a settlement. The amount of money they offer you may seem like a large sum, but it is most likely less than you actually need to pay for all of your expenses. Accepting their initial settlement offer without first consulting legal representation is often a bad idea because it can prevent you from pursuing civil action later, should your medical condition worsen or expenses prove higher than predicted.
Some individuals want to negotiate for a better settlement on their own. This often, however, leads to disappointment and little to no funds for most accident victims. Insurance companies are often too experienced to take on without an experienced advocate who knows how to negotiate with big insurers. Personal injury lawyers understand the strategies insurance companies use to deny, delay, or to underpay accident victims. A St. Petersburg lawyer can aggressively negotiate with insurance companies to secure fair compensation for you. It’s important to hire a trial lawyer who has the trial experience necessary to present your case in court if the case does not settle out of court.
Filing your lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires is another important consideration. A statute of limitations is a state law that sets a deadline for filing a lawsuit. If you miss the deadline for filing your personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit, you will be barred from pursuing civil action forever.
Your injuries and your losses require significant attention. This time of great stress is no time to try to learn the law or to negotiate with insurance companies on your own. Learning to cope with the reality of your situation is essential to your physical and emotional health. Our legal team can stand firm in pursuing compensation you deserve yet remains compassionate with clients. By providing frequent updates, we keep you constantly informed of the status of your case.
At Gomez Trial Attorneys, we protect victim’s rights by pursuing civil action via the claim and lawsuit process. No matter how difficult the case, we work hard to secure the best possible outcome for you.
Contact Our St. Petersburg Personal Injury Lawyers Today
We understand that your accident or the loss of your loved one may leave you feeling confused about your next step. While contacting an attorney may cross your mind, it is easy to put off making the call or contacting us online.
The quicker we are contacted, the more time we have to prepare your case. Reviewing the evidence associated with your accident takes time. Police reports, accident scene photos, and witness statements are all important evidence that requires our full attention.
Insurance companies may not only try to deny you the compensation you deserve but they may try to blame you for the accident that caused your injuries. This is unfair and one reason why you need to secure legal representation as soon as possible. It is important that, during this most challenging time, you have someone protecting your best interests.
Most people do not leave home expecting to wind up injured and in a hospital bed. If you’ve experienced a serious accident and have been injured as a result, you deserve justice and compensation. While each case is different, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
If you were seriously injured in an accident that was no fault of your own, contact Gomez Trial Attorneys. Gomez Trial Attorneys proudly represent clients throughout the St. Petersburg area. We offer free case evaluations, leaving you nothing to lose by calling us today at (619) 237-3490. Injured in an accident? Get a real trial lawyer. Get Gomez.
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“John helped me find doctors, he referred me to his neurologist, his physical therapist, I mean, anything I needed he was right there, every step of the way. I couldn’t have asked for a better result from all of this, I would absolutely recommend Gomez Trial Attorneys.”
“During the time I was working with Gomez Trial Attorneys, they treated me very, very well. 100% of the time, they believed me, and they were very compassionate. They felt sorry for what happened and they understood the therapy process.”
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“He opened the door for me to join his firm to help other brain Injury survivors and I never met another firm who is like this who was so understanding and caring who took the extra step and walked the extra mile with their clients and this is the best”
“I am very satisfied with the outcome with Gomez and I would definitely recommend Gomez to anybody, we tell people all the time, Get Gomez! They are really thorough with everything and they make you feel real comfortable.”
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