Types of Damages You Could Recover
The kinds of compensation that you may be entitled to recover in a personal injury claim fall into two categories – economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are those that represent your out-of-pocket costs incurred as a result of your injuries. These damages include:
- Medical expenses – Medical expenses include emergency room visits and hospital stays, doctor’s office visits, surgery, prescription medications, durable medical equipment (like crutches or wheelchairs), costs of physical or occupational therapy, and more.
- Lost income – You may be entitled to compensation for income you lose out on if you miss work due to injuries. If your injuries prevent you from permanently returning to work that allows you to earn your pre-injury income, you may also be entitled to claim the difference between pre- and post-injury income.
Non-economic damages are meant to compensate you for the emotional and mental stress and strain you’ve suffered due to the accident. Examples of non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering – Pain and suffering damages compensate you for the physical and mental anguish caused by your injuries and for the loss of quality of life, such as not being able to participate in activities you used to enjoy before you were hurt.
- Loss of consortium or companionship – Your spouse and your family may be entitled to claim compensation if your injuries mean you are unable to provide the companionship, society, and services to your family that you used to.
In addition to your personal injury damages, you may be entitled to claim compensation if you suffered property damage in the same incident that caused your injuries. For example, if your car was damaged or totaled in a car accident, you could recover the cost of repairs or replacement.
Statute of Limitations on Personal Injury Claims in Florida
Under the law, you have a limited period of time to file a lawsuit for a personal injury claim. This time limit is called the statute of limitations. In Florida, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is four years from the date of injury. If you fail to file your lawsuit within the statute of limitations, you will be forever barred from filing a lawsuit for your personal injury claim.
There are certain narrow circumstances when a court may extend or “toll” the statute of limitations. The most common of these circumstances is known as the discovery rule, which states that the statute of limitations is tolled until a claimant discovers or should discover through reasonable diligence the facts giving rise to his or her claim. Until this time, the statute of limitations does not begin to run.
For example, if you have a foreign object left inside you after surgery, the statute of limitations does not begin to run until you discover (or reasonably should have discovered) that you had an object left inside you, rather than starting when the object was left inside you.
The statute of limitations may also extend up to seven years for a personal injury claimant who is injured as a minor.
Steps to Take to Protect Your Rights After an Accident in Tampa
If you are injured in an accident, there are steps you should take to protect your legal rights and your ability to pursue compensation for your injuries from the parties responsible for the accident:
- Take photos of the accident scene. Photos of the accident scene may be critical to establishing responsibility for the accident. Without photos, disputes over liability can turn into a battle of one party’s word against another. Photos should include the area (including lighting and weather conditions), the exact spot where the accident occurred, your injuries, and, if applicable, damage to other objects such as vehicles.
- Collect insurance information and contact information of eyewitnesses. If appropriate (such as in a motor vehicle accident), you should collect insurance or risk management contact information from other parties involved in the accident. If there were eyewitnesses to the accident, they might provide a neutral, third-party perspective as to what happened.
- Seek medical attention. Even if you don’t believe at first that you were seriously injured, you should visit the emergency room or your primary care physician as soon as possible. Even seemingly minor injuries can develop worsening symptoms in the days and weeks following an accident. Prompt medical attention can improve the prognosis for your injuries and will help establish the severity of your injuries and the fact that the accident caused them.
- Get a lawyer. You should contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to understand your rights and what you should be doing to best pursue your claim for compensation.
How Our Tampa Personal Injury Attorneys Can Help You
The Tampa personal injury lawyers of Brooks Law Group can help you maximize the compensation that you are entitled to. Our attorneys can investigate your accident and collect evidence that may be critical to proving your entitlement to compensation and the extent of your losses. Our lawyers can also work with expert witnesses, if necessary, to develop a persuasive argument for your case.
We can also take on the burden of negotiating with insurance companies and defense law firms to seek a swift but full and fair settlement of your claim so that you can get the compensation you need for your recovery as soon as possible. However, when the responsible party will not agree to a fair settlement, our attorneys will be prepared to take your case to trial and vigorously advocate on your behalf to pursue a favorable verdict and judgment.
Directions to Our Tampa Personal Injury Law Firm
Brooks Law Group is located at 2002 5th Avenue, Unit 101, Tampa, Florida 33605. Our office is conveniently located off Interstate 4 near downtown Tampa.
- Coming from the north: Take Interstate 275 south, continue onto Interstate 4 at the interchange. Take Exit 1 off of I-4 onto 13th Avenue, then a right onto 21st Street. Our office is located immediately on your right as you take a right turn onto 5th Avenue.
- Coming from the south: On Interstate 75, take Exit 256 onto the Selmon Expressway (toll road). Take Exit 9 from the Selmon Expressway onto 22nd Street, then a left onto 5th Avenue. Our office is on the right after passing 21st Street.
- Coming from the east: On Interstate 4, take Exit 1 onto 13th Avenue, then a right onto 21st Street. Our office is located immediately on your right as you take a right turn onto 5th Avenue.
- Coming from the west: On Interstate 275, take Exit 45B onto I-4, then Exit 1 off of I-4 onto 13th Avenue. Take a right onto 21st Street. Our office is located immediately on your right as you take a right turn onto 5th Avenue.
Feel free to call us for specific directions.
Contact Brooks Law Group today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case and to learn more about your legal rights and options.