Experienced Florida Personal Injury Attorney Will Fight for Damages
Callejo Law was founded by Ms. Karen H. Callejo, who has over 25 years of experience advocating for the rights of the injured. As a former Insurance Defense attorney, she has an advantage in negotiating settlements for clients; she knows exactly how insurance companies and adjusters operate and evaluate their claims. In addition, as a skilled trial lawyer, she will not hesitate to take a case to trial if a favorable settlement can’t be reached.
Callejo Law will advocate on your behalf to maximize your claim involving:
- Motor Vehicle Accidents
- Premises Liability (include slip & fall)
- Medical Malpractice
- Nursing Home Abuse
- Wrongful Death
- Products Liability
- Cruise Ship/Maritime
What Do I Have to Prove in A Personal Injury Case in Florida?
Personal injury claims come in all shapes and sizes in Florida, from automobile accidents to slips and falls to defective products to unsafe conditions on someone else’s property. Still, the same basic elements, in some form or another, have to be established:
- Duty. Every person has a legal duty to act reasonably to avoid injuring other people. A couple of examples include drivers, who have a duty to drive cautiously and obey all traffic laws, and property owners have a duty to maintain their property in a safe condition for visitors. Duty is often discussed in terms of a “reasonable person;” in other words, did the defendant act in the same way a reasonable person would act under similar circumstances?
- Breach of Duty. After duty has been established, the plaintiff must show that the defendant breached that duty. For example, if the defendant was driving while intoxicated, missed a stop sign, and T-boned your car, the defendant breached the duty to drive in a reasonable manner because a reasonable driver would not drive intoxicated or run a stop sign.
- Causation. The plaintiff must then show the defendant’s breach caused the plaintiff’s injuries. So, for example, a plaintiff cannot claim her broken leg was caused by a recent auto accident if the defendant can show she suffered the break three months ago falling off a ladder. Still, if the auto accident exacerbated her leg injury, requiring, for example, an additional surgery, the plaintiff may be able to recover for those specific damages.
- Damages. Finally, a plaintiff must show that the injury suffered has cost the plaintiff in terms of physical or property damage, such as car repairs, medical bills, lost wages, and possibly pain and suffering.
Damages in a Florida Personal Injury Claim
In Florida, a successful plaintiff in a personal injury claim may be entitled to three types of damages: (1) economic damages, (2) non-economic damages, and (3) punitive damages.
The economic damages you’ve suffered impact you directly; in other words, they take money right out of your pocket:
- Damages to your property, such as auto repair/replace damage,
- Loss of earnings if you can’t work,
- Loss of future earning capacity, if your earning ability is permanently hindered,
- The reasonable cost of medical care,
- Car rental, and
- Costs of household services, such as lawn services or cleaning services
Non-economic damages are those damages that have a direct impact on the victim in some non-economic way and may include:
- Pain and suffering, both physically, emotionally, and mentally,
- Loss of life’s enjoyment,
- Disfigurement or other types of physical impairment,
- Inconvenience, and
- The loss of consortium or companionship under certain circumstances.
In addition to actual damages, punitive damages may be awarded under certain circumstances. Punitive damages serve to punish defendants who have acted in a particularly willful and harmful way and to discourage future similar actions.
In Florida, punitive damages are awarded at the court’s discretion and are generally limited to three times the amount of compensatory damages, or up to $500,000, whichever is greater. Various exceptions may apply.
A “court’s discretion” is an opportunity for attorneys to do some serious lawyering and convince the judge to rule in their client’s favor. Therefore, it is essential to have an experienced trial lawyer, like the Florida personal injury attorneys from Callejo Law, on your side to make sure that all punitive damages you are entitled to will be recovered.
Contact a Florida Personal Injury Attorney For Help
Contact us today for your free consultation with an experienced Florida personal injury attorney from Callejo Law. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means that you can pursue your claims 100% risk-free.
The quality of service provided by Callejo Law is reflected in their Google Reviews: a perfect 5.0 on Google Reviews. In addition, we offer same-day returns of phone calls and emails, bilingual representation, and 24/7/365 availability.