Lakeland Personal Injury Attorneys
For nearly 25 years, the Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys has successfully represented thousands of personal injury clients throughout Central Florida. If you or a loved one has been injured, it is critical you select experienced Lakeland personal injury attorneys as your decision can have a significant impact on the compensation you receive for your injuries. Unlike some firms, which 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 personal injuries. We gather all your medical bills, wage records and 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 , have helped us recover more than $100 million in settlements and verdicts. We have been helping injured victims for more than two decades.
If you have been injured, we may be able to help you recover mounting medical bills, wage loss and compensation for your pain and suffering. Please call our Lakeland office now or simply complete our Free Case Review Form.
How Much Does a Personal Injury Attorney Costs?
At the Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys, our attorneys work on a contingency-fee basis. That simply means you pay nothing to retain our legal services and we do not receive any attorneys’ fees or costs unless we win your case. That’s why our firm motto is “We don’t Get Paid Unless We Win, and We Want to Win!”
Our attorneys’ fees are a percentage of your total recovery; we do not charge for our time, we do not charge for 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 have been written and refined to protect you and your family against danger and prevent negligent injury. For example, operating a motor vehicle is very dangerous unless basic safety laws are followed. 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 basic medical standards are not met and followed. Thus, a doctor may be found negligent for preforming a surgery which 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 simply are applying the laws which allows injured persons to recover compensation for losses that were only incurred because another’s carelessness or negligent conduct. While taking legal action may not be your first-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 the following:
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
Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of companionship, comfort, affection, etc.
In wrongful death cases, our attorneys may be able to recover compensation for medical and funeral expenses, loss of support and household services and loss of future earnings and accumulations.
The purpose of awarding an injured party monetary damages is to restore them physically, emotionally and financially. While a personal injury suit cannot heal an injury, much less bring back a lost a 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 experience Lakeland personal injury attorney, it is critical you consult with a lawyer who has gone to trial and regularly handles the following types of cases:
We also handle personal injury cases involving the following types of injuries:
Traumatic brain and spinal cord injury: There are many types of accidents which 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 wellbeing, these lawsuits often seek to recover the cost of the patient future life care needs, past and future medical expenses, as well as, the loss of earnings and other damages.
Pressure Sores: Pressure sores, sometimes called pressure ulcer or bedsore injuries, are defined as any lesion caused by unrelieved pressure that results in damage to underlying tissue. Pressure sore 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 those who are injured as a result may be able to file a claim for compensation with the help of an attorney in Clearwater.
Dog Bites: In Lakeland, dog owners must be exceptionally watchful of their pets, as a person will be held 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 held responsible for past and future medical expenses and money damages when the injured victim is partly at fault for the incident. Thus when a dog bite or attack occurs it is extremely important to report the incident to Animal Control officials and seek qualified legal assistance from an experienced attorney.
Wrongful Death: When a person dies in the State of Florida due to another’s negligence or carelessness, the surviving spouse, children and other relatives may be able to recover monetary damages for their loss. Wrongful death damages include medical bills and funeral expenses, loss of support and services and loss of companionship. Wrongful death civil suits are commonly filed against negligent doctors, drivers and large corporations, including hospitals and trucking companies.
Why Bring an Injury Claim?
Not all injured victims are entitled to make a personal injury claim or file a lawsuit for their loss, injury and damages. A number of important factors, including the date of the incident, the cause of the accident and the severity of your injuries must be considered in determining whether you have valid legal action. Only an experienced attorney will be able to evaluate your case and determine whether you can proceed with a personal injury lawsuit. Please be aware that Florida has various statutes of limitation which apply to all personal injury cases. This simply means that you have a specific time, from the date of the incident to bring a negligence claim, or it will be forever barred.
When a person, firm or corporation fails to follow the rules, regulations and laws designed to protect the public against the risk of unreasonable harm, they may be deemed negligent and could be held responsible for all resulting damages in an accident.
What is the Statute of Limitations?
If you suffer from an injury caused by the negligent acts of another person, business or organization, your right to sue for monetary damages could be lost if you do not act quickly. Florida law has very specific statute of limitations that requires people who are injured to file a lawsuit within a certain period of time. For example, the statute of limitations for a car accident might be four years, but if you are injured by the negligence of a surgeon, you could lose your right to sue after only two years.
The laws setting limitations on the time within which you must file a lawsuit can be very complex in Florida. At the Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys, our 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 your legal rights, to hold the at fault party accountable for your loss, injury and damage.
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 we get from our Lakeland personal injury clients.
If you have specific questions about your situation, contact the knowledgeable personal injury attorneys at The Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys.
1. How do I know who was at fault for my accident?
From car accidents to boating accidents, construction site accidents to slip and fall accidents, Lakeland 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 getting in touch with the experienced Lakeland personal injury lawyers at The Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys. Our lawyers will investigate your injuries and the situation that led to them, then give 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, that 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, that you chose not to climb the stairs after realizing that 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, which can increase the compensation our client ultimately receives.
2. 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 bills related to your injuries. Many patients wonder how they will ever come up with the funds they need to pay those medical bills, especially if they have ongoing medical costs for catastrophic injuries like a
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 are legally required to carry personal injury protection insurance as well as 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 will face ongoing medical needs related to your accident and your injuries. Get in touch with your health insurance provider to ask about 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. Make sure you consider all medical costs, including in-home care, as you put together your claim. The Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys helps our clients ensure that they have calculated all of their accident-related medical expenses and included them as part of their personal injury claim, which can help to maximize the compensation they ultimately recover.
If you cannot pay your medical bills without the funds from a personal injury claim, contact your lawyer. 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.
3. 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 really 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.
4. 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 that 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.
5. 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 property, you have the right to file a personal injury claim against the homeowner’s insurance policy. The homeowner may try to discourage you, since your claim could 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 bills and manage your other accident-related costs if your injuries are someone else’s fault.
6. How long does it take to receive compensation for a Lakeland 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.
7. Do I really need a lawyer to help me handle a Lakeland personal injury claim?
Many accident victims worry about what hiring a lawyer will cost and whether they really need one in the aftermath of an accident. An attorney can offer many benefits to your claim as well as providing 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.
Some of the important services an attorney can offer include:
- An attorney can investigate every element of your claim. Frequently, an attorney can access evidence and information you might not be able to 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.
- An attorney can calculate the compensation you really deserve. Many victims have no idea how much compensation 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.
- An attorney can 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 company responds to your claim. Sometimes, simply having an attorney on your side can make the insurance company 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.
- An attorney can fight for you. At The Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys, we have a long-standing reputation as experienced Florida personal injury lawyers. 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 has been wrongfully injured in Lakeland, you may be entitled to seek compensation for your medical expenses, your lost wages, pain and suffering and other losses. Should you need advice from a personal injury attorney, I urge you to contact our firm today 1-800-222-8163. Our attorneys are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week or for immediate assistance complete our Free Case Evaluation.
At the Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys, we don’t get paid unless we Win… and we want to win!