Personal Injury

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Experienced Personal Injury Lawyers In Bradenton & Sarasota


What You Should Know About Personal Injury Law

Personal injury law is wide in scope, and personal injury lawyers can push for damages in a variety of accident cases. It’s estimated that over 400,000 personal injury cases are filed each year in the U.S. alone. Personal injury case types range from car, truck, or motorcycle accidents to slip and fall incidents, workplace injuries, and medical malpractice, among many others.

If you’ve been injured due to an accident, you could be eligible for significant compensation. However, without an attorney who understands the legal system and how insurance companies operate, you’re unlikely to get more than a small settlement. That’s why you should avoid admitting fault and talking to insurance companies. Instead, you should speak to a knowledgeable lawyer before signing anything.

If you’re an accident victim, call Gallagher & Hagopian today. Our team of experienced personal injury attorneys has won more than $300 million in compensation for our clients, and we will provide you with a consultation at no cost. While we can’t make the pain and trauma go away, our team will do everything in our power to get you the compensation you and your family deserve. 


Personal Injury FAQs

If you’ve been in a situation where you or someone else has been seriously injured, call 911 immediately. Then, call an attorney. Even if you are the victim of the accident and not the perpetrator, you’ll want to avoid incriminating yourself by “admitting fault.” For instance, if an accident victim accidentally admits fault by saying, “I’m sorry,” it could impact their ability to get future compensation. Fortunately, an expert attorney can tell you what to say and what to avoid speaking about after an accident. When speaking to someone other than your attorney:

  • Avoid Signing a Settlement: No matter what, don’t sign any settlement papers offered to you after an accident. Insurance companies, doctors, and hospitals will often offer a small settlement early on to avoid paying for the true costs of the injury. Unfortunately, this includes your insurance company as well. Insurance companies are in the business to maximize profit, which means paying out as little in injury claims as possible.
  • Don’t Incriminate Yourself: Though you may be fully innocent, loose words can be taken literally during a settlement hearing or jury trial. If you are responsible for damages, admitting fault could be especially damaging to your legal and financial situation.
  • Don’t Trust Your Insurance Company: Insurance companies are necessary, but they are also for-profit groups operating businesses for the personal benefit of the owners and shareholders. This means their main goal is not to provide the utmost protection of their clients. Unfortunately, this applies to your insurance company as well as others. After an accident, you could easily be in negotiations with your own insurance company over a payout. Unfortunately, they will generally use anything you say against you if it means saving them money.

In many cases, attorneys suggest capturing evidence at the scene of the accident, such as by taking photos or speaking to bystanders. Recording the evidence of an injury can be especially helpful in settlement negotiations or jury trials.

Personal injury law is a type of law involving torts or “wrongful acts leading to injury.” However, unlike most types of tort cases, which are strictly financial in nature, personal injury cases involve seeking damages for bodily harm, as well as mental, physical, emotional, or psychological suffering.

To prove a personal injury case, a lawyer must prove liability, or that the defendant was responsible, through negligence or active choice, for a harm significant enough to qualify for financial compensation. When dealing with dangerous products, defendants are held up to a standard referred to as “strict negligence.” This means that a defendant, such as a drug company, was not negligent, but created a product or service that was “unreasonably dangerous.

As one might expect, personal injury lawyers are needed in all areas of the U.S. IBISWorld reports more than 56,000 personal injury law practices in the United States currently employ slightly more than 135,000 people. Despite the large quantity of personal injury claims (more than 400,000) and the large number of lawyers in the field, most cases do not go to trial. In fact, Black’s Law Dictionary reports that only 4-5% of personal injury cases go to trial each year, with the vast majority being settled out of court.

There are wide varieties of personal injuries and accidents throughout the U.S. However, some of the most common injury types include:

  • Car Accidents
  • Truck Accidents
  • Motorcycle Accidents
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Broken Bones
  • Elder Abuse
  • Boating Accidents
  • Spinal Injuries
  • Animal Bites
  • Work-Related Accidents
  • Construction Site Accidents
  • Swimming Pool Accidents
  • Wrongful Death Cases
  • Birth Injuries
  • Injuries to Children

Road-related accidents, including car, truck, and motorcycle accidents are among the most common types of injuries in the U.S. According to National Safety Council data, more than 40,000 people die from road crashes each year, with more than 4.3 million people seeking medical attention from road-accident-related injuries. Distraction, reckless driving, and driving under the influence (DUI) are among the most common reasons for vehicle crashes in the U.S.

While car and truck drivers experience many crashes, motorcyclists see the largest amount of fatalities per crash. In fact, one study suggested that motorcyclists are nearly 30 times more likely to die in an accident than people driving or riding in cars.

While truck accidents are less common than motorcycle and car accidents, they are still quite prevalent. An estimated 500,000 truck accidents occur each year in the United States leading to around 4,000 deaths. Most deadly car accidents occur due to collisions with other cars. In contrast, most truck-accident-related deaths result from collisions that lead to the deaths of individuals in other vehicles, such as cars and motorcycles.

Medical malpractice is far more common than most people might think, with a Johns Hopkins study, suggesting that about 250,000 people die in the U.S. each year due to preventable medical errors. The problem, however, may be much worse, with one study from the Journal of Patient Safety estimating the number at as large as 440,000 people per year.

While medical malpractice is a serious issue, it can be very difficult to prove in court or settlement negotiations. Insurance companies are notorious for using doctors or sending representatives to hospitals to offer low-ball settlements to confused accident victims. In fact, it’s estimated that even when there is serious malpractice evidence, only 50% of victims win at jury trial.

If you’ve been a victim of medical malpractice, suggestions include:

  • Call a personal injury attorney immediately: As with other types of accidents, calling an attorney as quickly as possible will give you the best chance at getting the maximum compensation for your injuries. While malpractice victims in Florida have 2 years after the accident (or after the accident is discovered) to make a claim
  • Ask your medical records as quickly as possible: Getting accurate medical records before, during, and after the malpractice incident is one of the most important ways to prove malpractice. The longer a victim waits to get their records, the higher the chance the records will be “lost” or even tampered with to conceal an instance of malpractice.
  • Find a new doctor: Getting a new doctor can both help you get treatment for any side effects or conditions caused by medical malpractice. It can also help you get expert testimony or opinions that can be used by you and your attorney during the settlement negotiation or jury trial process.
  • Write down records and conversations with doctors: The more information you can provide to an insurance company to show that serious medical malpractice actually occurred, the better. Hard evidence of malpractice will make it easier for your attorney to negotiate for a larger settlement or to win more damages at trial.

Slip and fall incidents may sound minor, but they can cause serious injuries and even death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 40,000 people die in slip and fall accidents each year, with over 800,000 ending up hospitalized as a result of their injuries. Nearly 10% of U.S. slip and fall injuries occur in Florida, with data suggesting that 3,000 or more Floridians die each year from slip and fall accidents.

CDC data also suggests that 20% of slip and fall incidents result in a serious injury. In addition, falling is the most common cause of Traumatic Brain Injuries in the United States, with other common injuries including broken bones, hip injuries, bruises, cuts, and scrapes. Other common injury types include knee, back, or ankle injuries.

In terms of demographics, slip and fall injuries are generally split into two groups, falls resulting from workplace accidents and falls involving elderly individuals. However, there are also many general slip and fall cases that are not in these two categories. These include falls that take place on personal private property, such as a friend or neighbor’s home, at a business, or on public property.

Just like other types of accidents, a slip and fall victim may not know the full long-term consequences of their injuries until weeks or months after an accident. In non-work-related premises liability cases, Florida regulations require that the owner of the property understand the risks and did not fix their property, even though they were able to do so. Workplace liability cases can be different, as employers are generally held to a much stricter standard of liability. This means that they can be liable for injuries sustained as a result of “unavoidable work conditions,” not just negligence.

In addition to negligence-related and workplace slip and falls, a slip and fall incident may also occur as a result of medical malpractice. For instance, a failed surgery or an erroneously-prescribed prescription medication could lead to balance problems.

Elder abuse at nursing homes, hospitals, or assisted living centers can be yet another reason for slip and fall incidents. Organizations providing care to elderly people have varying degrees of liability for accidental or intentional injuries victims sustained there. For example, nursing homes generally have a “duty of care” obligation to provide a safe and caring environment for all residents. In general, this means that they are significantly more liable than a private property owner for a slip and fall incident. However, due to memory and cognition issues, as well as records mix-ups, it can still be difficult to prove liability in these scenarios.