a personal injury attorney's responsibilities

At St. Petersburg Personal Injury Attorneys McQuaid & Douglas, we get constant calls about potential claims. Many of our potential clients see our five-star reviews and accolades and ask for our help. But, some get confused about what types of cases a personal injury attorney handles. This article is designed to provide clarity and address what types of cases we handle, and what to do if you need an attorney.

Simply put, personal injury is a claim for injuries to your body. They can be psychological or physical. Personal injury also encompasses claims that unfortunately result in death. While these claims are often called wrongful death claims, they still fall under the umbrella of a case that a personal injury attorney would handle.

Car Accidents:

Car accidents claims are by far the most common type of personal injury case that we see. There are literally thousands of car accidents in St. Petersburg and Pinellas County each year. But, just because you are in a car accident, does not mean that you have a claim. In order to hire a lawyer, you must show that you were not at fault for the accident. Fault in rear-end car accident claims is usually easy to determine, but accidents at intersections or any accident where there are no witnesses can be challenging. However, if you were a passenger in a car or struck by a vehicle that was at fault, you may want to speak to an attorney about setting up a claim.

Truck Accidents:

Truck accidents are more common on heavily traveled thoroughfares such as I-275US 19, or Park Blvd. You may notice larger delivery trucks, such as Publix trucks on the roads at odd times on Sunday mornings. Truck accidents cause massive damages and usually result in serious injury. Just as in a car accident, you cannot be at-fault if you want to recover damages. But, if the truck was careless, you should immediately speak to a personal injury attorney. There are certain areas that a lawyer may be able to uncover that you would never have access to on your own. For example, the driving and maintenance logs of the truck could help explain the cause of the truck’s negligence.

Motorcycle Accidents:

Motorcycle accidents are unfortunately a fact of life in Florida. With our weather, there are many motorcycles on the road. When you add congestion, reckless drivers, and elderly drivers to the mix, it is almost inevitable that every motorcyclist will be in some type of accident during their lifetime. While many motorcycle accidents are due to the loss of control of the motorcycle, if you are on a motorcycle and injured due to someone else’s carelessness, then you will likely have a claim. It is important to note that although Florida is PIP state, motorcyclists do not qualify for these benefits regardless of who was at fault for the accident.

Pedestrian/Bicycle Accidents:

Pedestrian and bicycle accidents are also an unfortunate side effect of ling in Florida. Because we are so active outdoors, there are many more pedestrians and bicyclists on the roads compared to the rest of the country. We also see many hit and run accidents involving these two groups because of the inability to chase or follow the at-fault vehicle. Fortunately, Florida does protect both pedestrians and bicyclists with PIP benefits to cover medical expenses up to $10,000.

Slip and Fall/Trip and Fall

Slip and fall and/or trip and fall accidents are second only to car accidents in terms of frequency. A property owner owes a duty of care to its guests. So, they must make sure there are no dangerous conditions on the property that may cause you to be injured. If there is a dangerous condition on a property, the owner has a duty to warn you about it. The property owner also has an obligation to maintain its property. If you are lawfully on the property and the property owner has failed to do any of the above, you may have a claim for the injuries that you sustain.

Premises Liability

Premises liability is a catch-all phrase similar to personal injury. It basically means that you sustained an injury on a property. You may have a premises liability claim if you can show that the property owner was somehow negligent and that negligence caused you injuries. While slip and fall/trip and fall cases are the most common types of premises liability cases, we also see claims against a business for negligent security, negligent hiring or negligent supervision of their employees.

How Does a Personal Injury Attorney Charge?

All personal injury lawyers charge on a contingency fee basis. This means that the lawyer receives a percentage of the money recovered. A benefit to the client in these cases is that no fee is owed unless money is recovered. This makes hiring a personal injury attorney a very low risk decision for clients.

Additionally, the costs of the case are funded by the lawyer. Costs usually are photocopies, faxes, investigator fees, subpoena fees, filing fees or service of process fees. In a typical personal injury case, these costs are reimbursed to the lawyer out of the money that is recovered. If no money is recovered, the client is not charged for the costs.

Contact St. Petersburg Personal Injury Attorney:

At St. Petersburg Personal Injury Attorneys McQuaid & Douglas, we handle all types of personal injury claims on behalf of the plaintiff. A Plaintiff is the party who has been injured due to the fault of another and brings a claim for damages. These claims are defended by defense lawyers, who are normally hired and paid for by the insurance company. If you have been involved in a personal injury accident and would like to speak to an attorney, we encourage you to contact our offices. We offer free consultations to discuss the viability of your claims and the chances for recovering compensation for your losses.