Tampa Personal Injury Attorneys
A personal injury refers to an act of negligence that causes harm to another person. Negligence occurs when someone breaches a duty of care they owe to another person, and the breach of that duty causes an injury. An example is a motor vehicle accident. Drivers owe a duty to other drivers to operate their vehicles with reasonable skill and care. They breach that duty by distracted driving or drunk driving, speeding, failing to signal or check blind spots before changing lanes, running stops signs or red lights, or driving recklessly. Negligent drivers are responsible for harm to others when their negligent driving causes a crash.
Under Florida personal injury law, the burden falls on the injured victim as the plaintiff to file an insurance claim or bring a lawsuit against the negligent party. It’s the plaintiff’s job to prove that the accident was caused by the defendant’s negligence and that the accident resulted in the plaintiff’s injuries. Defendants, meanwhile, are most often represented by insurance companies that spend every day handling personal injury claims and do their best to limit or avoid their liability to the plaintiff. That’s why you need skilled and experienced legal representation on your side when you have a personal injury claim.
At Greco & Wozniak, P.A., our Tampa personal injury attorneys have been practicing law for decades and together represent over 95 years of combined legal experience. We deal with insurance companies all the time and know how to stand up to them and make sure they pay a full and fair amount on a valid injury claim. Call us for help with a personal injury in Tampa, including:
- Car Accidents
- Medical Malpractice
- Cancer Misdiagnosis
- Diagnosis Error
- Surgical Error
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Truck Accidents
- Wrongful Death
Insurance companies work to limit liability. Greco & Wozniak works for you.
Insurance companies are in business to make a profit. Collecting premiums increases their profit, but paying claims makes it go down. That’s why they have a whole bag of tricks to avoid liability or limit what they owe. They will hire accident reconstruction experts and biomechanical engineers to say the accident wasn’t serious enough to cause your severe injuries, and they’ll point to the fact that the cars involved show little damage. Cars are engineered to absorb the impact of a crash with minimal damage, but people aren’t. People inside the car absorb the shock of an impact and suffer greatly. Even a low-speed impact at 20 miles per hour can cause a person’s head and neck to whip back and forth at 60 miles per hour, causing a painful whiplash injury.
Insurance companies will also claim your injuries are caused by a pre-existing chronic, degenerative disease instead of the accident. Even if you have such a condition, it could be aggravated or accelerated by a traffic accident or other personal injury. Florida law recognizes this fact and allows injured plaintiffs to recover. Insurance companies won’t tell you that, hoping you’ll be fooled into dropping your claim or accepting a small payout.
Insurance companies have their experts, including insurance claims adjustors analyzing your vehicle and doctors going over your medical records. You need a team of experts on your side as well. Greco & Wozniak, P.A. is in your corner fighting for you and ready to go toe to toe with the insurance company when they are being difficult to deal with.
Personal Injury FAQs
Q. How long do I have to file a claim?
A. The short answer is that you have four years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit; after that, you can be barred from filing a claim in court. However, depending on the type of accident or injury, the age of the plaintiff, the status of the defendant, when the injury was discovered, and other factors, the time limit to file a lawsuit might be longer than four years or it might be much shorter. It’s important to talk to an attorney very soon after the accident, not just to preserve your right to file a lawsuit but also to collect evidence, get appropriate medical care, and get started sooner rather than later collecting compensation for your injuries.
In cases of wrongful death, a lawsuit must be filed within two years from the date of the death. A probate estate must first be opened, as the estate’s designated personal representative is the proper party to file a wrongful death lawsuit under Florida law.
Q. What kinds of damages can I recover on a personal injury claim?
A. Generally speaking, you can recover for all the harm that you have suffered because of the accident. You can recover economic damages like property damage, your present and future medical expenses, and compensation for lost wages or income for the time you missed from work due to the accident or if you became disabled from working because of the injury. You can also recover so-called non-economic damages, which are harms such as physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, scarring and disfigurement, loss of capacity to enjoy life, and the disruption or inconvenience to your life the accident and injury have caused you.
In some cases, you might be entitled to punitive damages as well. Punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant and serve as an example to others. Punitive damages are only available in cases of intentional misconduct or gross negligence, meaning the defendant knew of the wrongfulness of the conduct and the high probability of injury or was so reckless and lacking in care that it constituted a conscious disregard or indifference to the life or safety of others. Plaintiffs must meet a higher standard to prove punitive damages in appropriate cases.
Q. What if the insurance company says I was to blame for the accident?
A. This is a common insurance company trick to limit or avoid their responsibility to you. Two things are important to remember here. One is that even if you are partly to blame for causing the accident, you can still recover for your damages from the other party if they were partly at fault, but the amount of your compensation will be reduced proportionately. The other thing to keep in mind is that the insurance company doesn’t have the final say regarding who was and wasn’t to blame for the accident. If we can’t settle with the insurance company for a fair amount, we’ll go to court and let a jury decide how much fault each party shares and how much compensation you are owed.
Call Our Tampa Personal Injury Attorneys for Help Getting the Compensation You Need and Deserve
For help with a personal injury claim in Tampa, call Greco & Wozniak, P.A. at 813-223-7849. Your call is free, and there’s no fee until after we are successful recovering compensation for you.