Lakeland Personal Injury Attorneys
For nearly 25 years, the Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys law firm has successfully represented thousands of personal injury clients throughout Central Florida.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries, you must select experienced Lakeland personal injury attorneys. Your choice of lawyer can dramatically affect the compensation you receive for your injuries. Unlike some firms that rarely go to trial or are quick to accept any settlement, our lawyers have significant jury trial experience and prepare your case from day one.
At the Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys, our attorneys work with your treating doctors to determine the full extent of your injuries. We consult with financial experts to determine your economic damages, including loss of future earning capacity. This intensive process helps provide us with a figure that covers the amount needed to readjust to life following an accident.
While each case is different and damages vary, our dedication to our clients and courtroom success led us to recover more than $100 million in settlements and verdicts. We have been helping injured victims for more than two decades.
We can help you recover from mounting medical bills, wage loss, and pain and suffering from your injuries. Please call our Lakeland office now or simply complete our Free Case Review form.
Table of Contents
- Injury Risks in Lakeland
- How Much Does a Personal Injury Attorney Cost?
- What Can I Recover?
- Cases Our Lawyers Handle
- Our Lakeland Personal Injury Lawyers Answer Your Questions
- Free Case Evaluations – Call Now!
Injury Risks in Lakeland
With its historic architecture and antique shops, you might not expect Lakeland to have many risks. However, like in any other community in South Florida, injuries can happen to residents and visitors in many ways.
Children can suffer accidents while swimming at the Gandy Pool or playing at Hernando’s Landing at Lake Parker Park. Drivers might hit pedestrians walking to Edgewater Beach, or hit cyclists in the bike lanes. Traffic crashes might happen on I-4, State Road 570, or residential streets. School buses might crash while transporting kids to one of the Polk County Public Schools.
No matter where you were hurt, you should seek medical care at Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center or another medical facility. Then, reach out to our Lakeland personal injury lawyers to learn about your legal rights.
How Much Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Cost?
At the Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys, our legal team works on a contingency-fee-basis. You pay nothing to retain our legal services, and we do not receive any fees or costs unless we win your case. Our firm motto is “We don’t get paid unless we win, and we want to win!”
Our fees are a percentage of your total recovery – we do not charge for our time or legal consultations. As a result, you get full access to our years of experience and superior legal resources without any additional strain on your family or personal finances. To find out if you have a case, please contact our Lakeland office today.
What Can I Recover?
In Florida, thousands of rules, regulations, and laws exist to protect you and your family against danger and prevent negligent injury. For example, operating a motor vehicle is very dangerous unless drivers follow basic safety laws. Thus, a driver may be negligent if he or she violates Florida law by speeding, rear-ending another vehicle, or driving under the influence, causing a collision.
Surgery becomes extremely dangerous when doctors do not follow basic medical standards. Thus, a doctor may be found negligent for performing a surgery that results in the injury or wrongful death of his patient. Enforcing these laws against rule-breakers protects not only you but the entire community.
In filing a lawsuit, you apply the laws that allow injured persons to recover compensation for losses due to another’s carelessness or negligent conduct. While taking legal action may not be your priority following an injury, an experienced personal attorney can examine the cost of your current and future losses and timely file a claim seeking this amount from the party responsible for your injuries.
In a personal injury action, your attorney may seek compensation for:
- Past and future medical bills, including the cost of prescribed medication, therapy, and surgeries
- Past lost wages
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of companionship, comfort, affection, etc.
In wrongful death cases, an experienced personal injury attorney may recover compensation for medical and funeral expenses, loss of support and household services, and loss of future earnings and accumulations.
Awarding an injured party monetary damages helps restore them physically, emotionally, and financially. While a personal injury suit cannot heal an injury, much less bring back a lost loved one, it can provide economic stability for a family during difficult financial times following an accident.
Further, by taking legal action, you can hold the negligent party, hospital, or corporation responsible for their actions and, in some cases, may be entitled to punitive damages awarded to punish another for intentional misconduct or gross negligence.
Cases Our Lawyers Handle
If you are seeking an experienced Lakeland personal injury attorney, you should always consult with a lawyer with trial experience who regularly handles the following cases:
- Medical Malpractice
- Auto Accident Injury
- Trucking Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Bicycle Accidents
- Pedestrian Accidents
- Nursing Home Abuse
- Slip and Fall Injuries
- Drunk Driving Accident
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Uber Accident
- Lyft Accident
We also handle personal injury cases involving the following injuries:
Traumatic Brain and Spinal Cord Injury
Many accidents, such as truck accidents or a car accident case, can result in a traumatic brain or spinal cord injury. Since spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries can have such a dramatic impact on the victim’s lifestyle and their physical and psychological well-being, these lawsuits often seek to recover the cost of the patient’s future care needs, past and future medical expenses, as well as, the loss of earnings and other damages.
Pressure sores, sometimes called pressure ulcers or bedsores, are lesions due to unrelieved pressure that damages the underlying tissues. Pressure sores usually develop over bony areas such as the heel, hip bone, or tailbone region and are described in different stages to indicate the extent of the tissue damage. When a pressure ulcer develops, victims may file a personal injury case with the help of an attorney in Clearwater.
In Lakeland, dog owners must be exceptionally watchful of their pets, as a person will be strictly liable if his or her dog bites or injures another person in a public area or on private property (as long as the bite victim was lawfully on the property while the attack occurred).
Under Florida law, a pet owner can even be responsible for past and future medical expenses and monetary damages when the injured victim is partly at fault for the incident. Thus, when a dog bite or attack occurs, always report the incident to Animal Control officials and seek qualified legal assistance from an experienced attorney.
When a person dies in Florida due to another’s negligence or carelessness, the surviving spouse, children, and other relatives may recover monetary damages for their loss. Wrongful death damages include medical and funeral expenses, loss of support and services, and loss of companionship. Families commonly file these civil suits against negligent doctors, drivers, and large corporations, including hospitals and trucking companies.
COVID Nursing Home Injuries
COVID-19 has ravaged the world, particularly older adults in assisted living or nursing home facilities. The elderly population is more susceptible to illness from COVID-19. As such, nursing homes and assisted living facilities owe their clients adequate protection from the disease.
All nursing homes must take certain precautions to protect patients from sickness. If your loved one is suffering from a COVID-19 infection, and you believe their nursing home did not provide adequate protection, you may be able to file a lawsuit on their behalf.
A personal injury attorney can work with you to determine whether the nursing home was negligent in its actions.
Burn injuries typically arise from unforeseen accidents like car crashes, electrical fires, and exposure to toxic chemicals. Individuals suffering from burns may need ongoing medical care to recover from their wounds. In the worst cases, injury victims are left with severe disability and disfigurement.
A personal injury lawyer will work with you to understand your accident and how it led to the injuries sustained. If another party acted negligently and that led to your burns, a legal claim could help you obtain the financial compensation you need to recover.
Medical malpractice is a particularly painful personal injury to experience. After all, you’re placing your trust in a credentialed medical doctor or nurse and expecting them to provide you with the care you need.
However, sometimes doctors and nurses don’t exercise sound judgment when treating their patients. In trivial cases, they may prescribe a medication that doesn’t treat your sinus infection. In more severe cases, they may recommend you for surgery that you don’t need or fail to diagnose an acute illness like cancer
A personal injury attorney can review the circumstances of your care and determine whether you have a medical malpractice case against your physicians.
Security Negligence Claims
No one expects to suffer an injury due to a fight, shooting, or other crime at the workplace, school, or around town. However, the news is full of reported crimes in many places. Many times, innocent bystanders suffer harm, sometimes severely.
While the perpetrators may cause your injuries, the business or other location that failed to have adequate security in place may be partially responsible.
For instance, most employers must ensure that their employees are protected from criminal acts while at work. Similarly, schools must ensure that all visitors have valid identification and refuse to let anyone into the building who doesn’t have a reason to be there.
Personal injury lawyers can find out whether there was any negligence on the part of the employer, school, or other location that contributed to your injuries.
Nursing Home Abuse
While most people assume that nursing homes and assisted living facilities take adequate care of their residents, that isn’t always the case.
Understaffing and low patience contribute to the prevalence of nursing home abuse. In fact, 15.7 percent of older adults experience some type of abuse, including psychological, physical, and financial abuse.
Sometimes, elderly patients may not realize they are suffering from abuse due to illnesses like dementia or Alzheimer’s. A personal injury attorney can assess the extent of the elder abuse and develop a case against the nursing home or assisted living facility. Some cases may warrant a medical malpractice claim as well.
Slip-and-falls can happen anywhere: at the workplace, out shopping, or while visiting a friend or business office. Slip-and-falls occur unexpectedly and can result in severe injuries. Minor incidents may leave only bumps and bruises, while more severe slips may result in a concussion, traumatic brain injury, or broken bones.
Medical costs and lost wages can quickly add up in a slip-and-fall case, and victims often need assistance establishing that the fall resulted from someone else’s negligence. A personal injury lawyer can establish the facts of your slip and fall case and help you obtain compensation for your injuries.
Product liability claims arise when a defective product results in an illness or injury to the user. In most product liability cases, something in the product malfunctioned, causing an injury. Sometimes, companies fail to label their product appropriately for risks associated with product usage.
Product liability cases can be complicated, and you’ll need someone with expertise in product liability law to make sure that your case gets the attention it deserves. A personal injury attorney well versed in defective products can assist you in establishing a claim against the negligent company.
Thousands of people file insurance claims daily, whether for property damage, medical care, an auto accident, or workers’ compensation. With the sheer volume of claims, it’s no surprise that insurance companies seek to protect their profits and minimize payouts.
If you’ve suffered a severe financial loss from an accident, it can be devastating to hear that your insurance provider will only pay part of your damages or even none. After all, you’ve likely paid for coverage for a long time; your insurance company should be there for you when you need help.
A personal injury lawyer can help you negotiate with an insurance provider unwilling to provide you with a fair settlement for your injuries. Your attorney will help you get the compensation you deserve to move forward and make you financially whole.
Automobile and workplace accidents can result in severe injuries. In some cases, the victim may require amputation of a limb. Losing an arm or leg can have devastating consequences, including psychological, physical, and emotional trauma.
Pain following amputation can last for months or years. Quality of life is typically affected, and the victim may be unable to work at their standard capacity for the foreseeable future.
A personal injury lawyer can help you obtain monetary damages to cover the medical costs of your amputation. They can also assist you in recovering non-economic damages, like loss of quality of life, mental pain and anguish, and disability and disfigurement.
While financial compensation won’t replace a lost limb, it can help you navigate through the physical and emotional challenges of getting your life back on track.
Why Bring an Injury Claim?
Not all injured victims can file personal injury claims or lawsuits for their loss, injury, and damages. We will consider important factors, including the date of the incident, the cause of the accident, and the severity of your injuries, in determining whether you have valid legal action.
Only an experienced attorney can properly evaluate your case and determine whether you can proceed with a personal injury lawsuit. When a person, firm, or corporation fails to follow the rules, regulations, and laws to protect the public against the risk of unreasonable harm, they may be negligent and responsible for all resulting damages in an accident.
What is the Statute of Limitations?
If you suffer injuries due to the negligent acts of another person, business, or organization, you might lose your right to sue for monetary damages if you do not act quickly. Florida law has a specific statute of limitations that requires people with injuries to file a lawsuit within a certain period. For example, the statute of limitations for a car accident might be four years, but if you suffer harm due to the negligence of a surgeon, you can lose your right to sue after only two years.
The laws setting limitations on the time you have to file a lawsuit can be very complex in Florida. At the Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys, our experienced attorneys will review all the facts and circumstances related to your potential liability claim to determine the appropriate statute of limitations that applies to your case. We make it our job to protect the legal rights of injured clients and to hold the at-fault party accountable for your damages.
Our Lakeland Personal Injury Lawyers Answer Your Questions
You suffered serious injuries due to another party’s negligence. Now you have questions about your right to compensation. Below, we answer the most frequent questions from our Lakeland personal injury clients.
Contact the knowledgeable personal injury attorneys at The Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys if you have specific questions about your situation.
How do I know who was at fault for my accident?
From car accidents to boating accidents, motorcycle accidents to construction site accidents, Florida residents and visitors suffer a wide range of accidents each year. Often, those accidents are someone else’s fault.
How do you know who caused your accident and, therefore, who you have the right to sue for accident-related compensation? Start by contacting the experienced personal injury lawyers at The Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys. Our lawyers will investigate your injuries and the situation that led to them, giving you a better idea of who may be at fault for your accident.
As part of our investigation, we will ask three key questions:
- Did someone have a duty of care to you at the time of the accident? A “duty of care” is the other party’s legal responsibility to keep you safe. For example, premises owners bear a duty of care to visitors to keep them safe and warn them about any potential hazards on their property.
- Did that person violate their duty of care? Suppose, for example, you visited a Lakeland antique shop. While you expect to encounter old furniture, you certainly do not expect to trip and fall because of severe wear and tear on the stairs. If the premises owner failed to maintain the stairs, leading to your accident, the owner might bear or share liability for your accident.
- Are your injuries a direct result of that person’s failure to live up to their duty of care? To file a personal injury claim, you will need to show that the liable party’s actions led, in some direct way, to your injuries. If you suffered no injuries, you likely do not have grounds for a personal injury claim. Suppose, for example, you chose not to climb the stairs after realizing you did not feel the railing offered adequate support. Since you avoided an accident, you do not have to worry about moving forward with a personal injury claim, although you should make the owner aware of the maintenance issue.
At The Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys, we take a close look at everyone involved in each client’s accident and investigate any situations that may have contributed to your injuries. Often, we can identify more than one party who may have contributed to an accident, possibly increasing the compensation our client ultimately receives.
What should I do about my medical bills following a Lakeland accident?
Whether you visited Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center or had medical needs that required you to go outside Lakeland for treatment, you may have large medical expenses related to your injuries. Many patients wonder how they will ever come up with the funds they need to pay for these, especially if they have ongoing medical costs for catastrophic injuries like a traumatic brain injury.
As the injured party, you will need to make arrangements to pay all of your medical bills. However, you may have several options that can make it easier for you to handle those costs.
These options include:
- If you suffered injuries in a car accident, you can rely on your personal injury protection insurance. As a Florida vehicle owner, you must carry personal injury protection insurance and liability insurance to register a vehicle in the state. Personal injury protection insurance provides at least $10,000 in coverage for medical expenses after a car accident, minus your deductible. PIP insurance kicks in regardless of which driver caused the accident, so you can use it while waiting to determine whether the other driver’s insurance will cover any of your expenses associated with the accident.
- Contact your health insurance provider. Your health insurance can provide coverage for at least some percentage of the medical expenses associated with your accident. Health insurance can prove particularly vital if you face ongoing medical needs related to your accident and injuries. Get in touch with your health insurance provider to ask how much coverage you have, which providers are in-network, and how to handle any out-of-network medical needs.
- Use the funds from your personal injury claim. Medical expenses related to your accident are usually the largest percentage of any personal injury claim. You can seek compensation from the at-fault party or parties for medical costs related to the accident, including large expenses like the cost of durable medical equipment, such as a wheelchair or hospital bed, or a long-term stay in the hospital or a skilled nursing facility. As you put together your claim, make sure you consider all medical costs, including in-home care.
The Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys helps our clients ensure that they calculate all of their accident-related medical expenses and include them as part of their personal injury claim, which can help to maximize the compensation they ultimately recover.
Contact a lawyer if you cannot pay your medical bills without the funds from a personal injury claim. Sometimes, a lawyer can issue a letter of protection, which will indicate your intent to pay your medical bills once you receive a settlement and prevent providers from pursuing collections against you in the meantime.
What should I do if the insurance company offers me a settlement after a Lakeland accident?
Before accepting any settlement offer related to a serious Lakeland accident, get in touch with a Lakeland personal injury lawyer. Insurance companies do not always provide an ethical, accurate assessment of your needs when they put together a settlement for your personal injury claim. You may find yourself struggling to get the compensation you really deserve, especially if the insurance company attempts to dispute liability.
An attorney can help evaluate the settlement offer provided by the insurance company and give you a good idea of whether it reflects the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Once you get this advice, you can determine whether you want to accept an offer or move forward with further negotiations.
What if the party who caused my injuries in Lakeland does not carry insurance?
In most personal injury claims, the injured party must go through the liable party’s insurance company to pursue compensation, not the liable party directly. Property owners, for example, usually carry some type of property insurance, and most drivers carry auto insurance.
Sometimes, however, you might suffer serious injuries at the hands of someone who does not carry adequate insurance or any insurance at all. In Florida, more than 20 percent of drivers do not carry auto insurance. Similarly, not all property owners adequately insure their properties.
If the party who caused your accident does not carry insurance, you may need to file a personal injury claim against the liable party directly. Negotiating directly with the liable party may make it more difficult for you to secure the compensation you deserve for your injuries, so if this is the situation you find yourself in, you should ensure you have an attorney on your side. In the case of an auto accident, if the person who caused your accident does not carry insurance, you may file a claim under your own auto insurance policy if you have uninsured motorist coverage.
Can I file a personal injury claim against a Lakeland homeowner?
Most often, personal injury claims against Lakeland homeowners involve some type of premises liability accident—dangerous stairs, a home in poor repair, or a dangerous swimming pool, for example. Most homeowners carry property insurance that, in addition to providing some compensation for damage to the home itself, may also offer financial compensation to anyone who suffers a serious injury on the property.
If you suffered injuries in an accident on a Lakeland, FL property, you have the right to file a personal injury case against the homeowner’s insurance policy. The homeowner may try to discourage you since your claim can cause their rates to go up. However, if the homeowner’s negligence led to your accident and your injuries, you have the right to compensation for your accident-related expenses. It’s not fair for you to have to struggle to pay your medical expenses and manage your other accident-related costs if your injuries are someone else’s fault.
How long does it take to receive compensation for a personal injury claim?
Just like you may have a long road to recovery ahead of you as you heal from your injuries, you may also have a long road to recovering compensation through your Lakeland personal injury claim. It can take considerable time to settle with the other party. If you have to go to court, it can take even longer to receive the compensation you deserve.
Before you even file a claim, you may need time to start to recover from your injuries and get a better idea of your prognosis. It can take as many as six months after you suffer severe injuries for your doctors to have an accurate idea of how fully you’ll recover, and since the extent of your injuries can impact the compensation you deserve for both medical bills and pain and suffering, you may need that recovery time before you think about filing a claim.
Next, both parties will need time to investigate the circumstances surrounding the accident. Once the investigation ends and you have an accurate picture of your future medical needs, you will need time to negotiate with the other party. Often, it takes several rounds of negotiation before you can agree.
Finally, if you do have to go to court, you may have to wait for a court date, then take time to present your claim, which can further extend the time you need to address your claim.
Do I need a Lakeland personal injury lawyer to help me handle my injury claim?
Yes, you do.
Many accident victims worry about what hiring a lawyer will cost and whether they need one in the aftermath of an accident. An attorney can offer many benefits to your claim as well as provide you with support at every stage of the process. An attorney has your best interests in mind, not the interests of the insurance company or the interests of the liable party.
An attorney can:
- Investigate every element of your claim. Frequently, an attorney can access evidence and information you might not access on your own. Sometimes, an attorney will discover additional parties who may share liability for your injuries or uncover a history of similar cases against the liable party, which may help bolster your claim.
- Calculate the compensation you really deserve. Many victims have no idea how much they really deserve for their injuries. They may have insurance companies trying to pressure them into accepting a low offer or friends and family members who simply don’t grasp the full extent of their injuries. An attorney has experience representing clients in similar situations and can help you understand how much compensation you really deserve.
- Put together a compelling argument regarding the compensation you deserve. Putting together a comprehensive, compelling claim can make an immense difference in how the insurance companies respond to your claim. Sometimes, simply having an attorney on your side can make the insurance companies take your claim more seriously. An attorney has the experience to help you put together a claim that will establish your full right to compensation for your injuries.
- Fight for you. At The Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys, we have a long-standing reputation as experienced Florida personal injury attorneys. We have supported many Lakeland accident victims, and we always fight to help our clients seek the compensation they really deserve for their injuries. We have helped recover over $100 million in both jury verdicts and negotiated settlements, and we continue to help our clients maximize their compensation as much as possible. We always fight for our clients, whether we can negotiate a settlement out of court or we need to go to court to get the best result.
Free Case Evaluations – Call Now!
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in Lakeland, you might successfully seek compensation for your medical expenses, your lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses. Should you need advice from a personal injury attorney, we urge you to contact our firm today by calling (863) 230-8361.
Our attorneys are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for immediate assistance. You can also complete our Free Case Evaluation form.
At the Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys, we don’t get paid unless we win – and we want to win!
The Fernandez Firm – Lakeland
100 S Kentucky Ave #285
Lakeland, Florida, 33801
I was recently injured in an automobile accident. Contacting the Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys was the wisest choice I made. They navigated me through the process from beginning to end. The outcome was positive and painless. I appreciate the hard work of your firm and highly recommend anyone else in a similar situation to contact you.