Suffering a personal injury can be a life-changing event. It's a very difficult time for those involved, especially when the injury is caused by someone else's fault. The last thing individuals want to deal with is the financial problems caused by the injury and talking with an insurance company. This is where we can help.
We have been handling personal injury claims throughout the country since 1955, and have earned a reputation as one of the most successful law firms in the nation, winning more than $4 billion dollars in jury verdicts and settlements.
While we handle personal claims nationwide, our law office is located in downtown Pensacola, and our forty attorneys live in the community. We have handled more personal injury claims in Northwest Florida for injured persons than any other law firm.
Our accomplishments in personal injury law have been featured on CNN, Fox, ABC, CBS & NBC. Our lawyers have appeared in The Wall Street Journal; The New York Times; Forbes magazine; Time magazine; National Law Journal; and US magazine.
Types of Cases Our Personal Injury Lawyers Handle
What is a Personal Injury Lawsuit
A personal injury lawsuit is a legal claim filed by an individual who has suffered physical injury or death because of the negligent, reckless or intentional conduct of another individual, company or governmental entity. It typically occurs with auto accidents, medical malpractice, workers compensation, prescription drugs, medical devices and defective products.
What Do I Have to Prove to Win a Personal Injury Case
In order to succeed in your personal injury claim, you will need to prove three things: (1) the other side acted in a negligent, reckless, or intentional manner; (2) the other side caused your injury; and (3) the amount of your damages.
In regard to the first thing you need to prove, negligence is the failure of the person at fault to use reasonable care, which is the care that a reasonably careful person would have used under the same circumstances.
The second thing you need to prove is causation, which means the other side caused your injury, or substantially contributed to causing your injury. The third thing you need to prove is your damages.
It's our job to gather all the evidence to prove your claim, and then present your best case possible to the insurance company; and if necessary, to a judge and jury.
What Will Levin Papantonio Rafferty Do To Maximize My Claim
Immediately after you retain our services, we will begin taking the following actions to prove your claim, and to prevent the insurance company from minimizing your claim.
- We will take photographs and video of your injuries; the scene where the injury occurred; and all objects involved in the incident (such as the motor vehicles involved).
- We will collect all government reports on the incident, such as police, fire, and EMS records.
- We will question and record statements of witnesses.
- We will reconstruct the incident, such as the speed and movement of the vehicles, and each driver's actions and reactions.
- We will gather all your medical records and bills, analyze them, and speak with your treating doctors.
- We will calculate your loss of income, loss of earning capacity, and other out-of-pocket expenses.
- We will speak with the insurance companies on your behalf, and negotiate your compensation.
- We will retain expert witnesses to testify on your behalf.
- If we can't settle your case to your satisfaction, then we will file your lawsuit, conduct discovery, and present your case to a judge or jury.
How Long Do I Have to Bring a Personal Injury Lawsuit
There is no easy answer to this question because it depends on many factors, such as where the injury occurred, the type of injury, and who caused the injury.
As an example, if an auto accident occurs in Florida, the injured person has four years to file a lawsuit for injuries, but only two years if the accident causes death.
If an injury is caused by a Florida governmental entity, there are papers that need to be filed at least six months before the lawsuit is filed, and the maximum time period in which the lawsuit can be filed is three years.
The most important thing is that you immediately seek free legal advice when you become aware of a potential injury caused by the fault of another, even if you decide not to hire a lawyer. It costs you nothing, but provides you much protection.
Are There Any Limitations on My Recovery
The most significant limitations Florida places on the recovery of damages in personal injury litigation are the following:
- The state of Florida and all state agencies, counties and cities can only be held liable for damages up to $200,000 per person and $300,000 per incident.
- Punitive damages are limited to three times the compensatory damages or $500,000, whichever is greater. If the conduct of the defendant was "motivated solely by unreasonable financial gain," then the punitive damages will be capped at four times the compensatory damages or $2 million, whichever is greater. The only exception to this cap is when the defendant intended for the harm to occur to the injured person.
- An employer can only be held liable for punitive damages for the conduct of an employee if the employer "actively and knowingly participated" in the conduct; "knowingly condoned, ratified, or consented" to the conduct; or "engaged in conduct that constituted gross negligence."