If you have experienced an illness or injury and you believe it is due to the negligence of another person, business, or other legal entity, you may have a personal injury case. The requirements for a personal injury case are:
- The one who caused your injury owed you a duty of care
- The person or business was negligent in that duty
- You suffered injury or damage that was caused by the breach of duty
- The injury or damage can be demonstrated legally
What is a duty of care?
Simply put, a duty of care is an obligation to act responsibly to avoid injury to another person. All reasonable precautions should be taken, laws and safety codes followed, and in the case of medical care, reasonable standards of care must be followed.
You could say that we all owe one another a duty of care in a broad sense – showing basic decency, for instance. But in lawsuits, it is necessary to show legal obligations. You can’t sue someone for injuries unless there has been a measurable breach of a legal obligation.
So while a homeowner should, out of decency, keep the sidewalk in front of his house free of obstacles to keep it safe, you can only sue the person for a slip and fall if the homeowner is required by law to maintain the sidewalk that crosses his property. In such a case, however, if the homeowner is not legally obligated, the municipality is; therefore, part of my job as a successful personal injury lawyer is to find the responsible party and hold them accountable.
Demonstrating injury and causation
If you are injured, seek medical care immediately and keep very detailed records of your injuries and treatment. It is critical to establish a connection between your injuries and the negligence of the responsible party and have the evidence to support it. Documents to retain for evidence include:
- All medical records, including documentation regarding your health before the incident
- Medical bills
- Log of doctor visits
- Information regarding your psychological condition before and after the accident (documentation here may include witnesses who can testify to changes following the incident)
- Don’t sign anything. Insurers often try to create a sense of urgency, especially if they know you are struggling financially.
- Don’t give a recorded statement about the incident to the insurance company before speaking to your own legal counsel.
- Don’t write about it on social media or any public or written forum. Avoid talking about the incident with friends and family, beyond the basics.
- Take pictures. If possible, take pictures at the scene. Show any damage to your property (for example, in a car accident) as well as your physical condition. Pictures of you before the accident and pictures after the accident are very important pieces of evidence.
- Keep track of other expenses that have been incurred due to the injury (such as home modifications like handicap ramps, handrails, etc.)
Call me from anywhere in Florida at (954)448-7288 to help you determine the strength of your case and what we need to do to get you the compensation you deserve.