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Florida Medical Malpractice Lawyers > Florida Personal Injury FAQ

Florida Personal Injury FAQ

Personal Injury

Why Hire A Personal Injury Lawyer?

When someone else is at fault in an accident, it’s important to speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer. A knowledgeable lawyer will have the resources needed to investigate the accident and help you understand the personal injury lawsuit process ahead of you.

At Freidin Brown, P.A., our team has more than 100 years of combined experience representing individuals who’ve suffered serious injury or lost a loved one due to the negligent or reckless acts of another person or business.

Contact our firm online or at 866-716-7292 to discuss your questions with a lawyer. Consultations are FREE.

Experience. Knowledge. Results.

A personal injury lawyer can act as your advocate after an accident. He or she will provide you with critical information about your case and guide you in your pursuit of maximum compensation for your injuries. Benefits working with a lawyer after an accident include:

Legal Advice: An experienced lawyer with a track record of achieving successful results can advise you on how to legally address injuries sustained from a car accident, truck accident, medical mistake, or defective product. A personal injury lawyer can answer important questions that can improve the likelihood you will receive full and fair compensation for your injuries, including:

  • What evidence or photos should be collected?
  • Who should I talk to after an accident?
  • How should I document an accident or incident that has resulted in serious personal injury to myself or a loved one?

Case Evaluation: Two of the most important questions after a Florida accident are “Do I have a case?” and “How much is my case worth?” An lawyer who has handled hundreds of accidents just like yours can provide you with an accurate assessment of your case. Understanding the legal issues that may arise in your case can help you determine whether pursuing a personal injury lawsuit is necessary to fully recover after another person or business harms you or your family.

Experienced Legal Guidance: Navigating the complex legal process after an accident or injury isn’t easy. It is often complicated by lawyers and insurance companies trying to limit the at-fault person or business’ financial responsibility for your injuries. While you focus on healing, grieving and recovering, your personal injury lawyer can deal with the person or business responsible for your pain and suffering and handle all matters related to the insurance company.

Medical Malpractice

I have complications from a surgery. Can I sue?

You can file a lawsuit if the doctor or the hospital negligently or unnecessarily performed the surgery, or you were injured as a result of a surgical error. However, if the doctor or hospital was not negligent, and the complications were expected, then you most likely will not be able to sue. “Expected complications” are usually the kinds of things you hear about when your doctor explains the procedure, or when you sign a consent form. Each surgery is different, and the complications that can result vary greatly. It is therefore very important for you to consult a lawyer who is experienced in medical malpractice.

Can I Sue for a Misdiagnosis?

If you were misdiagnosed or given the wrong diagnosis, this may amount to negligence by the doctor. If the outcome and complications were a result of the doctor’s negligence, you can file a lawsuit for your damages. These damages can include your pain and suffering, loss of income (both past and future), medical bills.

My doctor ignored my concerns while I was pregnant and my baby was stillborn. What are my options?

The fact that the doctor ignored your concerns is not the dispositive point; the question is whether or not the doctor was negligent in ignoring your concerns. At Freidin Brown, we thoroughly investigate each and every case to determine whether the doctor was negligent and whether the child was stillborn as a result of that negligence. If we do find negligence, we can file a claim to recover money for your pain and suffering.

Can I sue a doctor for prescribing wrong medication?

You can sue if your doctor prescribed the wrong medication and that error caused you injury. Providing a patient with the wrong medication is a very frequent occurrence in hospitals, and terrible things can happen. If you were injured as a result of a prescription error, it is important that you immediately contact our office so that we can assess whether you should file a lawsuit.

Who is responsible if my spouse died after sustaining injuries from a work accident?

Injuries that take place at work are usually covered under workers’ compensation, which is the exclusive remedy unless the injury was a result of intentional conduct. Sometimes intent can be proven if the employer knew of the risks to its employees, but disregarded them. On the other hand, if a third-party (i.e., someone who was not the employer) caused the injury at work, you may be able to sue that person or company. For example, if your loved one was working at a construction site and was injured by someone who worked for another company, you may be able to sue that person or company for damages.

My baby was born with a brain injury after I was neglected by my doctors. Do I have a case?

In most lawsuits involving medical care, you have to prove negligence—that is, that the medical professional failed to act as a reasonably careful professional would have under the circumstances. If the doctors, nurses, or hospital was negligent, and the negligence resulted in a serious injury to your baby, then you can sue. This includes brain injuries, brachial plexus injuries (injuries to the nerves of the arm), and other serious consequences.

What do I do if I was a victim of a crime on someone else’s property?

You can sue the owner of the property if they were negligent in protecting you. This is called a “Negligent Security” case. Good examples of this are hotels that don’t keep out intruders, or parking lots that don’t have adequate lighting or security. You only have to show that the crime was foreseeable—that the property owner knew or should have known that something bad could happen.

Should I hire your firm if my spouse was improperly intubated and sustained a brain injury as a result?

We have handled dozens of these cases, and have two seasoned trial lawyers in our Firm. We have a tremendous amount of experience in personal injury and medical malpractice cases, and have obtained excellent results for our clients over the years. In addition, we take great care in each and every one of our cases, and treat each client like family. It is our attention to detail and vast experience in similar cases that sets us apart from other firms.

Can I sue for medical negligence?

You have the right to sue for your damages if you’re a victim of medical negligence. Medical negligence cases can be highly technical and expensive, so it is important to hire experienced lawyers who are not afraid of putting their own money into your case. At Freidin Brown, we cover all litigation expenses, and you only pay us is if there is a recovery for you.

I had surgery and I’m worse off than I was before the procedure. What are my options?

Not all surgical injuries are things for which you can file a lawsuit. Your injury must be a result of surgical negligence or unnecessary surgery. In either scenario, you will have to prove that the doctor fell below acceptable standards of care (i.e., the doctor failed to act as a reasonable doctor would under the circumstances). If you can prove that the doctor’s negligence caused injury to you, you may be able to recover money for your damages.

My spouse died in the hospital. Can I sue?

Yes, if the hospital, nurses, or doctors acted negligently, a surviving spouse can sue under Florida’s Wrongful Death Act.

Can I sue a hospital?

Yes, you can sue a hospital for a variety of things that cause injury, including physician negligence. We often see hospital cases that involve emergency rooms, radiology errors, neonatology departments (NICU), and anesthesia errors. You can also sue the hospital for a nurse’s failures, as well as for medication errors.

Will my case go to trial?

Whether or not your personal injury case will go to trial is again dependent on the unique facts involved. In general terms, most personal injury cases do not go to trial, and are instead resolved through out-of-court negotiations (which still require aggressive advocacy to prove fault and liability, and pursue full and fair compensation). In some cases, however, defendants and insurance companies may argue important facts in the case, such as claiming they were not at fault, or that you as a victim contributed to causing the crash in some way. They may also refuse to pay what victims rightfully deserve to settle their cases. In these scenarios, litigation may be necessary, which is why working with lawyers skilled in both out-of-court negotiations and trial practice is critical.

Wrongful Death

What is a wrongful death lawsuit?

Wrongful death lawsuits are civil legal actions that are designed to hold a person or an entity accountable for causing another’s death through negligent, wrongful, or intentional acts. In general terms, wrongful death cases function similarly to personal injury lawsuits in that they seek justice and financial compensation for incidents and damages that could and should have been prevented. One way to understand these cases is to view them as personal injury claims where the victim is no longer able to bring legal action on their one. Instead, another party will need to bring the wrongful death action.

What do you need to prove in a wrongful death case?

Wrongful death cases can involve a range of unique facts and circumstances, but generally focus on a few important legal concepts and the need to prove fault and liability. In order to prevail, the following general elements must be proven:

  • A legal duty existed – A wrongful death lawsuit will only have merit if there was sometype of legal duty between the defendant and the decedent. This means the defendant owed the victim a “duty of care” to take reasonable steps that would prevent them from suffering harm. This “duty of care” can exist in many ways depending on the circumstances. For example, doctors have a duty to treat patients in accordance to accepted standards and guidelines. Additionally, motorists have a duty to take reasonable steps in safely operating their vehicles.
  • The legal duty was breached – Families bringing wrongful death suits must further prove that a legal duty owed to the decedent was breached by the defendant. This simply means the defendant failed to uphold their legal obligations, such as when a doctor provides below-standard care in treating the decedent, or when a motorist violates their duty to safely operate a vehicle by driving under the influence or running a red light. Breaching a legal duty typically arises from negligence, but it may also involve intentional acts of violence or misconduct.
  • Causation – Proving causation is one of the most important elements of a wrongful death action, and it requires families to show that a defendant more likely than not caused the victim’s death. To prove this element, claims must be supported by strong arguments and evidence, and often times expert testimony. Such an example would include showing how a doctor’s mistake constituted substandard care, and how that mistake more likely than not caused death. One way of explaining causation is to say “but for” the wrongful or negligent conduct, the injury or death would not have occurred.
  • Damages – Wrongful death lawsuits are ultimately intended to help surviving family members secure justice for their losses, as well as a financial recovery of their damages. Because losing a loved one can cause many profound emotional and financial losses, wrongful death cases typically allow for the recovery of economic and non-economic damages, such as medical expenses incurred prior to death, funeral expenses, lost financial support, loss of emotional support or consortium, and other financial or emotional injuries. The damages a family can recover is specifically explained in the Florida Statutes, and they can be very difficult to determine given the intricacies and fact patterns of each particular case. If you think you might have a case, it is important to contact an experienced lawyer so that we can explain to you all your rights and what you may be entitled to recover as damages.

Who can bring a wrongful death lawsuit in Florida?

Under Florida law, a personal representative of the decedent’s estate must bring a wrongful death action. This personal representative may be someone named in the decedent’s will, or someone who represents the estate’s beneficiaries or survivors. This representative often brings the claim on behalf of surviving family members, including a decedent’s surviving spouse, children, parents, or other financially dependent beneficiaries. The personal representative can be a family member, including a surviving spouse or child, or it can be anyone else selected by the survivors. At Freidin Brown, P.A., we guide our clients through the entire process of naming a personal representative.

How long do I have to file a wrongful death lawsuit?

Generally, surviving families and representatives typically have two years from the date of death to bring a wrongful death lawsuit. However, that time limit or “statute of limitations” may be different in certain cases, such as those involving misdiagnosed illnesses or claims against government entities. Because the statute of limitations may vary, and because these cases require much time and investigation before a lawyer can file a lawsuit, it is important that families contact a proven and experienced lawyer as soon as possible.

What happens if there is a criminal case involved?

In some cases, defendants who may be liable for another’s death may face criminal charges, such as in the case of a fatal drunk driving accident. It is important to remember that even when criminal cases are involved, they are handled in separate proceedings in criminal court, focus on whether or not a person is guilty of a crime, and use a different burden of proof (beyond a reasonable doubt). They do not focus on financial liability for the death, and are not a viable source of compensation for surviving family members. As such, families would need to pursue wrongful death actions in civil court, which uses a lower burden of proof (a preponderance of the evidence or “more likely than not”) to determine if a person is financially responsible for another’s death and resulting damages.

Because criminal and civil actions arising from incidents involving death are separate and distinct matters, the outcome of one does not always indicate the outcome of the other. Even if no criminal charges are filed or if defendants are found not guilty in criminal court, they may still be held civilly liable in a wrongful death suit. For example, in the case of O.J. Simpson, he was found not guilty in his criminal case, but he was held liable in the wrongful death lawsuit brought by the families in civil court.

Do I need a lawyer?

You are never required by law to have a lawyer when bringing legal action against an at-fault party. But pro se litigants are rarely successful when up against other lawyers and insurance companies. This is why an experienced lawyer on your side makes all the difference. Lawyers who handle wrongful death lawsuits, like ours at Freidin Brown, P.A., know how to deal with complex and confusing legal proceedings while being respectful and understanding to our clients who may still be recovering from the shock of losing a loved one. This is why we do all we can to handle the challenging legal work on behalf of our clients, which can require extensive experience, resources, and even professional connections if experts must be used. When you depend on having a h3 case to secure the justice and compensation your family deserves, there is no substitute to enlisting the help of legal professionals. In addition, wrongful death cases can be extremely expensive. When you retain Freidin Brown, P.A., we will pay for all litigation costs and we will only be reimbursed if and when a recovery is made. If no recovery is made, nothing is owed to us. That’s our promise to you.

Car Accident

I was involved in an accident here in Florida, but I live in another state. Can I sue?

Yes, you can sue in the Florida county where the accident happened, even if you are from another state or country.

Can I afford a car accident lawyer?

If you are concerned about finances and being able to afford a personal injury lawyer to help with your car accident case, you should know that most injury lawyers – including our legal team at Freidin Brown, P.A. – work personal injury cases on contingency fees. This fee arrangement means that victims do not pay up-front fees to hire a lawyer, and that lawyers’ fees are taken as an agreed upon percentage of the final financial recovery. If no recovery is made in your case, there are no fees. Our lawyers can further explain how our contingency fees and our agreements work during an initial consultation.

Who’s at fault for my accident?

This is one of the most important questions to ask in any car accident case, and while it may be difficult to answer without the individual facts and circumstances about your wreck, there are some basic concepts you should understand when it comes to fault and liability. Generally, victims of auto accidents have the right to hold the at-fault party who caused their accident accountable for their negligence, and financially liable for the damages they caused. Proving fault and liability, however, is dependent on what happened in your case. In some circumstances, the at-fault party may be another driver whose negligence (i.e. speeding, traffic violation, or even intoxication) caused your crash. In others, commercial companies (including those who own and operate commercial trucks) or manufacturers of defective products (such as faulty tires) could be held liable for your damages.

Determining fault and liability is a case-by-case matter, and one that demands the attention of proven lawyers. Remember, just because you allege a driver or some other party is at fault for your accident does not mean you’ll be fairly compensated. Defendants and their insurance providers often fight accident claims aggressively, raise disputes about who’s at fault, and do all they can to pay as little as possible. Having a lawyer by your side can ensure you have the resources to handle these issues as they arise.

How much is my car accident case worth?

It is simply not possible, nor ethical, to affix any monetary sum to an accident case in its initial stages. That’s because car accidents are case specific matters, and because the full scope of victims’ damages must be known before any negotiations or speculations about value can take place. Generally, victims of preventable auto accidents have the right to recover the economic and non-economic damages they incurred as a result of the wreck and their resulting injuries. These damages can include, among others, past and future expenses for medical treatment, lost wages caused by missing work, reducing earning potential caused by disabilities or impairment, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and emotional injuries.

How can I protect my rights after a car accident?

After any type of auto accident, there are many steps you can take to protect your health, the safety of others, and your legal rights should you have the opportunity to pursue a personal injury claim against the at-fault party later on. A few important steps you can take to do so include:

Calling emergency services to request medical assistance, if needed, and to have a police officer respond to the scene of the accident. A law enforcement officer can gather information about what happened in your crash for use in a police report, which can serve as important evidence in any personal injury case you file at a later time. Collect as much information as you are able to at the scene. This can include contact and insurance information from all involved parties, names and numbers of witnesses, driver’s license information, and vehicle information such as license plate numbers. Take photos of the scene of the accident from multiple angles if possible, as well as photos of the position of the vehicles, nearby traffic signs or signals, damage to vehicles, visible injuries, and other factors you may feel are important to understanding what happened. Take the time to write down or record all you can remember about what happened in your accident as soon as possible while the details are still fresh.

While these steps are important, many victims simply don’t remember them or have the ability to address them in the wake of serious collisions. Ultimately, one of the most effective ways to protect your rights is to work with lawyers who can help you take the appropriate steps moving forward, communicate with insurance companies on your behalf, and begin working on your claim for compensation.

Premises Liability

I fell and was injured on someone else’s property. Can I sue?

All property owners have a duty to maintain their property in a safe and reasonable condition. If they aren’t doing this, and you are injured as a result of negligently maintained premises, you can sue. Often times this is called a “trip and fall” or “slip and fall.”

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