Posted By Alan Sackrin on February 10, 2015
Last Update: 12/26/16
We all know that lawyers that help people who have been hurt in a car or truck accident are called “personal injury attorneys.” Ask most anyone, and they’ll say that a “personal injury lawyer” represents car accident victims.
“Personal injury law” does cover car accident claims but it also includes a variety of other situations. Florida’s “injury law” provides justice for people – from online injuries like social media defamation; to physical harm in auto accidents; to bodily injuries in slip and fall accidents at the grocery store – just to name a few.
1. Defamation Cases
Under Florida law, when someone hurts you by written words that are false (libel), or by spoken words that are false (slander), then they have committed a civil wrong known as defamation. (A “civil wrong” is otherwise known as a tort and a tort claim allows for the recovery of damages – Tort damages are pursued by personal injury lawyers.)
For example, imagine a nasty divorce or break-up. Upset and angry, an ex-spouse or ex-significant other, takes to Facebook and vents. They write something horrible about you, like you were fired from your last job for stealing (when you weren’t), or that you abused your child (which you most certainly did NOT).
Posting on social media may make them feel better; it may even make others snicker; and it may not reach more than the number of followers who read the ex’s Facebook stuff, but it’s wrong to do (and it’s a tort).
Since Facebook posts are written, libel laws apply (which means the victim has the right to seek damages as well as the legal right to have the posts taken offline — by court order if necessary).
2. Slip and Falls
Slip and fall accidents can cause great harm to the victim, and it’s shocking how often people are hurt in a fall. Accidents from trip and falls or slip and falls can be complicated: who is responsible to pay for the victims damages and with whom is the claim filed?
Everyone shops at the grocery store. Usually, the store is really clean, it has floor mats when it’s raining and well lit, right? Still, it’s shocking how many people are seriously hurt during a routine trip for groceries.
Consider the situation where a young mom, on her way home from work, runs into Publix and slips on a grape that has fallen out of another customer’s bag there in the produce section. She’s a healthy, fit woman — maybe she runs a couple of miles at lunch everyday, or works as a swim coach — still, the act of having your feet slip from under you and slamming your body onto the hard linoleum floor of a grocery store can cause someone like her to be really, really hurt.
A personal injury lawyer will know how to help this young mom and her family. The lawyer can not only work fast to get the evidence needed to prove that Publix was at fault here (with things like witness statements, video, or photos showing that grape lying there on the floor an hour earlier), but he or she can help get the victim’s wages covered while the victim can’t work; and therapy costs covered for the victim’s long-term physical therapy needs.
3. Car Accidents
Car accidents happen all the time here in South Florida, and thankfully most of these traffic accidents are not serious, but just fender benders that are frustrating and annoying.
However, there are crashes where people get seriously hurt; hurt bad enough that the victim has to lose time from work (and that means lost wages). They need medical attention – maybe even lengthy hospital care – and that’s expensive. What insurance will they use to cover these cost (it’s a question that the hospital’s admissions office is going to be asking)?
Car accidents can also be complicated. For example, you are in a rear-end collision in Hallandale’s five o’clock traffic; a delivery truck slams into you, and right before you were hit, you saw the driver angrily talking on his cell phone.
You’re taken by EMS to the hospital, and soon your family arrives. You will need surgery and after that, therapy. Your car is totaled and you will be off work for a couple of months.
Figuring out how to get money in your hand fast to pay bills like the mortgage and to buy the groceries is critical. Determining who was legally “at fault” for the crash is another concern, because that will decide who is legally liable for the expenses and damages resulting from the accident. You know that the other driver was distracted with their phone at the time of the crash. Was he speeding as well? Was he drunk or under the influence of drugs?
The driver and his employer aren’t going to volunteer this information, but your personal injury lawyer can track down the truth. He can then go after those legal claims for you to reach a settlement in mediation or to get a judgment in a lawsuit.
Likewise, your personal injury lawyer can help you sort through various resources to find ways to cover your immediate money needs – like paying your bills — as well as covering your medical expenses and more. Your personal injury lawyer will know what damages and expenses PIP covers in your case, as well as how much your own car insurance policy may provide for things like a rental car if your car was totaled, and what policies will cover your doctor bills.
In most Florida auto accidents, injured crash victims find that having an experienced personal injury lawyer has helped them in all sorts of ways — not just in filing a lawsuit for compensation against the other driver (and maybe his employer, too) – but with things like paying for food and shelter and with recovering your costs to hire someone to do the simple things you used to do, like mowing the lawn.
Personal Injury Lawyers – Car Accidents and More
Time and again, personal injury lawyers help clients and their loved ones with all types of circumstances to recover damages for harm that has been negligently inflicted upon them. Some clients are surprised to learn that certain types of compensation are available to them (loss of future earning capacity, costs of home modifications, cost of having to hire others to do routine tasks, etc…) for the suffering they have and will endure in the future. From our perspective, it’s a good thing to be known as someone who can help people with more than just car accident cases.
What Should You Do?
A good piece of advice if you have been harmed in an accident, is to at least speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer before you file a claim to learn about some of the issues that can arise with these claims, including the type of evidence needed to prove a claim and the type and amount of damages you can recover. Most personal injury lawyers, like Alan Sackrin, will offer a free initial consultation (over the phone or in person) to answer your questions.
- Helping People Hurt in Car Accidents: Personal Injury Lawyers Can Make a Big Difference In Settling a Case
Do you have questions or comments? Then please feel free to send Alan an email or call him now at (954) 458-8655.