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Common Personal Injury ...

Personal Injury FAQ

Get the Help You Need After a Tampa Accident

If you have been injured and are suffering physical, emotional and financial damages, you may be entitled to recover a significant amount of monetary compensation from the responsible party. After an accident of any kind, you likely have numerous questions about your case and your legal options. At Smith & Stallworth, Attorneys at Law, we offer a free initial consultation to discuss your case, and we have included some frequently asked questions on this page, for your convenience.


What is a personal injury?
An injury that is sustained in an accident or other incident caused by another person's negligence , recklessness or wrongdoing is typically classified as a personal injury . This may be physical or psychological in nature and may entitle the victim or the victim's family to take legal action in civil court against the responsible party.

What is negligence?
One of the most important parts of your case will be proving the negligence of the other party. A person or party acts negligently when they fail in one way or another to take all reasonable precautions to prevent harm to another person. In a personal injury case, there are typically four main parts of negligence:
  1. The accused negligent party owed the victim a certain duty of care.
  2. The accused person violated that duty.
  3. The victim’s injuries were a direct result of the accused’s negligent behavior.
  4. The damaged that was caused by the injuries can be proven.

Is there a difference between a claim and a lawsuit?
Victims often do not know which route they should take when pursuing compensation for their injuries, and it can be very helpful to understand the differences between the options. If you are trying to determine which option is best for your situation, please call our firm to have one of our knowledgeable attorneys assess your case.

  • A claim is a filed with the negligent party’s insurance company by the victim to seek fair compensation for their injuries and losses. Filing a claim is an informal process that allows the victim to submit their claim with the insurer to pursue informal resolution. If the case cannot be properly resolved through the claim process, a lawsuit may be the next step.
  • A lawsuit is a legal action taken by the victim against the negligent person, corporation, government entity, or insurance company in an effort to recover damages for their injuries and losses. This action is a formal process that takes the case before the court and asks a jury to rule on the case’s merit. It is not uncommon for the party accused of negligence to seek to settle the case rather than take the issue to court.

What will my case be worth?
The value of a personal injury case will be worth will vary greatly depending upon the nature of the accident, the extent of injury, and even the intentions of the responsible party. A personal injury lawyer can review your particular case to determine what it may be worth and can then pursue that amount in full by way of an insurance claim or lawsuit in civil court.

My child was bitten by a dog after trying to pet the animal. Can we still seek compensation?
Dog owners have a responsibility to protect the public from their animals, and if they fail to do so and their pet hurts someone, they could be held liable. The issues that must be evaluated in a dog bite case are whether your child provoked the animal in some way and whether the child was hurt as a result of improper supervision.

Under Florida law, children below the age of six are considered incapable of knowingly putting themselves in danger, and would not realize they were at risk of being bitten. If the child is over the age of six, the jury will have to decide whether the child acted negligently by approaching or provoking the dog in some way. The other issue is whether the attack could have been prevented if the child had been supervised properly. If you are considering pursuing damages for your child’s dog injuries, you should speak with an experienced attorney at the firm to learn more about your options.

The insurance company for the driver who caused my accident called to offer me a settlement. Should I take it?
After a car accident, many insurance companies are quick to contact the dazed victims and try to convince them to accept the settlement so that they will not pursue further legal action. Before considering their offer, you must understand that the insurer’s top priority is their profits, not adequately compensating victims. The settlement offered by the insurance company is likely to be far less than you need or deserve for the injuries and losses sustained in the accident, so it would be wise to retain proven representation before making any choices. Our attorney can assess the circumstances and the extent of your injuries to determine how large of a settlement you may be entitled to.
What kinds of cases does your firm handle?
At Smith & Stallworth, Attorneys at Law, we represent clients in a wide array of personal injury and wrongful death claims throughout Florida. This includes: auto accidents, slip and fall accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, product liability claims, drunk driving accidents, and much more.
What does it cost to work with an attorney at your firm?
We work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you pay nothing unless we secure a settlement or judgment on your behalf. If you would like to learn more about our fees, please contact us to talk to an attorney about your particular case.
Can I take legal action if I lost a family member?
Under Florida law, a close family member or representative of a person's estate may take legal action against the party whose negligent conduct led to an accidental or wrongful death. In these situations, the family may be able to bring the responsible party to justice and recover financial compensation for funeral expenses, medical bills, loss of companionship, and more.

To learn more, contact a Tampa personal injury attorney for a free case evaluation.

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