At Cecere Santana, PA, our experienced Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyers provide legal representation to people harmed in accidents across South Florida. Two of our attorneys are former insurance adjusters who understand the inner workings and strategies of insurance companies. If you have been injured in an accident caused by someone else, you should consult a skillful attorney before speaking to an insurance adjuster.
Personal injury lawsuits involve injuries caused by the negligence or misconduct of another party. It may be possible to recover compensation if you are able to establish another person or entity's liability for the accident. Most personal injury lawsuits are brought under a theory of negligence. This means that you will need to show that the defendant owed you a duty of care, but their conduct breached the duty of care and caused your damages. In most cases, damages are compensatory. This means that they are meant to put you in the position in which you were prior to the accident.
Florida is a no-fault insurance state. Every driver must carry at least $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. You will need to first turn to your PIP coverage if you are injured in a car accident, regardless of who is at fault. However, if you have suffered a permanent injury due to a car accident, you can sue an at-fault driver for medical bills, lost wages, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. You can also sue in civil court if your medical bills or lost wages are more than the $10,000 in PIP coverage.Slip and Falls
If you are injured in a slip and fall at a store or other business in the Fort Lauderdale area, our personal injury attorneys may be able to help you recover damages by bringing a premises liability lawsuit. Many premises liability lawsuits are brought in connection with slip and falls in grocery stores, restaurants, or retail stores. All property owners and businesses are required to keep their premises safe for visitors. Business owners owe the highest standard of care to their customers. Businesses are supposed to regularly inspect their property for dangerous conditions and either repair them or issue warnings. In order to recover damages, you will need to show that the business knew or should have known about the dangerous condition that caused your slip and fall.Negligent Security
Florida property owners must keep their premises reasonably safe for invited customers. In neighborhoods that have crime problems, this duty may include instituting adequate security measures to protect customers. If you were hurt due to negligent security at a business, you may be able to recover damages from the business or property owner for your injuries. Often, negligent security lawsuits arise in connection with inadequate security at apartments, shopping malls, or parking garages. Your Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorney will need to show that there was a dangerous condition at the property, the owner knew or should have known about it, the owner did not repair or adequately warn about the condition, and an event such as a violent crime resulting from the dangerous condition caused your injuries.Homeowner's Claims
If your home or business has been damaged by a natural disaster, such as a flood or a hurricane, you may expect your insurer to pay the first-party claim. Unfortunately, some insurers are more concerned with profits than with meeting their full obligations to the insured. They may not pay or may underpay a legitimate claim. You may be able to file a breach of contract and bad-faith lawsuit against the insurer. Under Florida Statutes § 624.155, you can sue an insurer if it fails to try to settle a claim in good faith. Signs of bad faith include an insurer's failure to negotiate seriously, failure to investigate properly, or concealment of facts found in its investigation. However, an experienced attorney may be able to push the insurer to do the right thing by sending a demand letter.Boating Accidents
Recreational boating is popular in Florida, but unfortunately not all boaters operate their boats safely. If you are injured in a boating accident that was caused by someone else's carelessness or wrongdoing, you may be able to sue the boater for damages. Often, it is appropriate to pursue damages under a theory of negligence. Breaches of reasonable care while boating can include speeding in an area with swimmers or drinking while boating.Dog Bites
If you were bitten by someone else's dog in South Florida, you may be able to sue for compensation for your injuries. Under Florida Statute section 767.04, you can hold a dog owner strictly liable for your injuries if the dog bit you when you were in a public place or lawfully in a private place. A personal injury lawyer can help Fort Lauderdale residents hold a dog owner liable even if the owner did not have prior knowledge of the dog's propensity to bite. You do not need to prove that the owner's lack of reasonable care caused you to be bitten and injured.Wrongful Death
The death of a loved one can engender both grief and financial concern. If a family member was killed by another party's negligence or wrongdoing, you may be able to sue. The damages recovered in a wrongful death lawsuit can help cover bills that would have been paid by the decedent's income. Often, wrongful death lawsuits are brought under a theory of negligence. However, the specific circumstances will dictate what must be proven. For example, if your loved one fell off a broken balcony in a hotel and died, you would need to establish the elements of a premises liability lawsuit.Product Liability and Drug Recalls
You trust that products sold to you will be safe. Unfortunately, some products are defective and cause injuries. You may be able to hold a manufacturer liable if you are injured by a defective product. You may be able to recover damages under a theory of strict liability by showing that the defective product directly caused your injuries, and you were using it as intended or in a foreseeable way. Actionable defects include design, manufacturing, and marketing defects. Often, a drug recall means that a certain pharmaceutical is defective and can cause serious health problems. Recalling the drug does not shield the manufacturer from liability to consumers who previously used the drug and suffered adverse consequences.Nursing Home Neglect
Nursing home residents are particularly vulnerable to abuse and neglect. A substantial percentage of nursing home residents have reported that they have experienced or witnessed neglect. Signs of nursing home neglect that loved ones should notice include bedsores, withdrawal, personality changes, fractures, and bruises. It may be possible for a resident harmed by nursing home negligence to sue for damages. The plaintiff and their Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer will need to show that a duty of care was owed by the nursing home to the plaintiff, a breach of the duty of care occurred, and the resident suffered damages.Workplace Accidents
Many people are injured on the job. Generally, your only chance for recovering compensation from your employer is through the Florida workers' compensation system. However, if another entity or person other than your employer is responsible for your injuries, you can sue them. Usually, you will need to show negligence by a preponderance of the evidence. But it may be possible to hold a manufacturer liable for a work accident under a theory of strict liability. For example, if your arm was amputated as a result of a defectively manufactured tool, you may be able to sue the manufacturer for damages.Consult a Personal Injury Attorney in the Fort Lauderdale Area
Whether you have been injured in a car accident or as a result of a dangerous condition on someone else's property, the experienced attorneys at Cecere Santana may be able to help you. We have built our firm on a foundation of client service, and this is reflected in the fact that many of our new clients come to us as referrals from prior clients. Call us at 800-753-5529 or complete our online form for a free consultation.