At the Cloud Law Firm, we’re dedicated to handling our clients’ cases with respect, compassion, and perseverance. Whether you’ve been in an accident or need some assistance handling an insurance claim – our dedicated team of personal injury lawyers is here to assist you across all of central Florida. Each of our offices in Sebring, Largo, and Tampa are located for your convenience – but we’re also available to meet with you virtually or at your location.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, you are probably searching for answers to many questions about your rights, resolving your financial situation, and choosing an attorney. We can answer those questions. Prior to this accident, you may have believed that you would never need to hire an attorney; however, it is essential that accident victims recover the maximum amount possible from the responsible party. You will only get one bite at this apple.
You have the right to pursue a claim for your medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering. You need an experienced, qualified attorney who will out-think and outwork the at-fault party and their insurance company.
If you or your loved one has suffered any personal injury as the result of a car accident, truck accident, motorcycle accident, bicycle accident, pedestrian accident, slip and fall, trip and fall, construction accident, or any other accident causing personal injuries or death, please, call the Cloud Law Firm now for a free consultation.
We want you to know your rights and we will provide the advice and help you are searching for. You have nothing to lose by calling because there are no attorneys’ fees unless we win your personal injury case.
If you have been injured in an automobile accident, truck accident, or motorcycle accident, you may have a motor vehicle negligence claim against the at-fault driver. You should know that under Florida’s dangerous instrumentality doctrine, you may also have a claim against any person or entity who was an owner of the at-fault vehicle.
If the at-fault driver was an agent or an employee of a business who was operating the vehicle within the course of the business, you may also have a claim against that business.
With regard to automobile accidents, the Florida legislature has passed special statutes requiring every driver to maintain $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. PIP is frequently referred to as No-Fault Insurance as it covers you, and sometimes your family members, in the event of a motor vehicle accident, regardless of who was at fault in causing the accident. Generally, your PIP insurance provides coverage for a percentage of your medical bills, lost wages, and some out of pocket expenses, up to the limit of coverage. You should know that if your PIP carrier does not provide you with the benefits to which you are legally and contractually entitled, you may have a claim against your PIP insurance carrier.
There is no such thing as a run of the mill “red car hit blue car” motor vehicle accident. Each accident is different and requires special attention to detail. We find that automobile accidents are often fact-intensive and require significant investigation. Often there are multiple relevant witnesses, including the drivers of the vehicles involved, the investigating officer, the paramedics, multiple treating physicians, and other third-party witnesses. Sometimes a proper investigation of a car accident requires the assistance of a specialist in the fields of accident reconstruction and/or biomechanical engineering, who can help explain to the jury how the accident occurred and the injuries that resulted. In addition, proper evaluation of injuries often requires the assistance of medical specialists.
If you have been injured by a person’s intentional act, you may have a claim against that person. For instance, the common law tort of battery provides recourse to a person injured by the intentional actions of a physical aggressor. You should know that Florida statutes provide a special cause of action to persons who have been the victim of domestic violence.
If you were physically injured on another persons’ property, you may have a premises liability claim against the landowner. We have extensive experience in prosecuting intentional torts. Call us now for a free consultation.
If you have been injured on another person’s property, such as a slip and fall type accident, you may have a premises liability claim against the landowner. Premises liability claims can be brought against a property owner for its negligence, despite whether the property is owned by a governmental entity, a corporation, or an individual.
When you go onto the property of another, Florida law holds that the property owner owes you a duty of care. The duty of care owed to you generally depends upon your status on the property. Depending on the circumstances of your presence on the property, Florida law generally prescribes you the status of invitee, licensee, or trespasser.
The Florida Supreme Court has broken these categories down into further subcategories, which are beyond the scope of this article. Florida law does not necessarily define these categories in a manner commensurate with the general definitions provided to these terms outside of the law. An invitee is owed the greatest duty of care, and the property owner owes a trespasser the lowest duty of care. Your status on the property can change, depending on the circumstances. An invitee could become a trespasser by entering a private portion of the property. Similarly, a discovered trespasser is owed a higher duty of care than a normal trespasser.
There are also many other caveats in the area of premises liability. For instance, a landlord owes its tenants a wholly separate duty of care. Florida Statutes provide special defenses to certain types of landowners, under certain circumstances. One example is a special defense provided to convenience stores if they employ certain safety measures as provided by applicable Florida Statutes.
Although premises liability claims can cover many types of accidents, we find that the most common claims are slip and fall or trip and fall type claims. It is not uncommon for a property owner, such as a commercial business, to permit a dangerous condition to develop on its property, such as a slippery floor, a lifted carpet, or a hidden slip/trip hazard. Florida legislature has promulgated special statutes that deal with certain types of dangerous conditions, such as transitory foreign substances, which include dangerous conditions such as a slippery liquid spilled on the floor.
Many businesses maintain commercial liability insurance policies which provide a small amount of medical coverage to persons injured on the property right away, without the necessity of demonstrating liability. These types of policies are a great benefit to injured persons who are injured during a time when the person is not covered by a policy of health insurance. These types of medical provisions are often time-limited, and that if you do not make a demand for medical payments right away, you may not be able to recover under the medical benefits provisions of such insurance policy.
Another common area of premises liability involves the victims of criminal activity, such as the victim of a battery, rape, robbery, or murder. Like the other areas of premises liability, Florida courts require special proof in this area, including evidence of prior similar criminal incidents on the property or in the surrounding area. As you can see, premises liability is a complex area of the law filled with pitfalls for the unwary. We have extensive knowledge and experience in the area of premises liability. If you have been the victim of an injury that occurred on someone else’s property, we may be able to help you. Please contact us immediately, and we will be happy to provide you a free consultation to discuss the law applicable to your case.
If a product has injured you in some way, you may have a product liability claim against the product manufacturer, as well as the intermediary distributors and the retail seller. In addition to negligence, Florida has adopted the doctrine of strict liability with regard to defective products. In some circumstances, you may have an express or implied warranty claim based on the defective product.
In the context of product liability, the term product is defined broadly and can include any product ranging from a simple plastic fork to a complex vehicle produced by a major automobile manufacturer.
Generally, defects include three categories:
- design defects
- manufacturing defects
- marketing defects.
A design defect is inherent in the design of the product; that is, the defective aspect of the product was intended within the design. An example of a design defect would be a step ladder that was built to hold only fifty pounds, which is obviously defective for any adult person’s intended use.
A manufacturing defect is a defect in a product that was unintended and/or which was not part of the product’s design. An example of a manufacturing defect would be a motorcycle that was designed to be built with self-locking nuts, but which the manufacturer accidentally assembled with standard nuts.
A marketing defect is a defect in the marketing materials provided with the product. Most commonly, marketing defects include inadequate instruction or warnings with regard to the use of the product.
Product liability is an area of the law, which, as a general rule, requires the services of an expert within the field of the specific product. For instance, a metallurgist may be required to determine whether the metal incorporated within the product was of sufficient strength. Similarly, an engineer may be required to determine whether the product met its design specifications.
The Cloud Law Firm can assist you in identifying and retaining the appropriate experts in presenting your case. You should know that the field of product liability is riddled with defenses. Product manufacturers are provided special defenses for state of the art. The Florida legislature has granted manufacturers defenses based on compliance with governmental rules. An attorney can help you navigate these complex issues. If a product has injured you through your use or another party’s, you should immediately photograph the product and maintain it in its current condition.
Under no circumstances should you perform your own investigation, dismantle the product, or dispose of the product. Under Florida law, the doctrine of spoliation may prevent you from recovering for your injuries if the product is lost or destroyed. If you were injured by a product owned by someone else, or within someone else’s possession, you should immediately notify that person of your intention to make a claim and demand, in writing, that that person preserves the product in its current condition. Do not allow the product to be lost or destroyed. Contact us now for a free consultation.
If a family member has died as the result of another person’s acts or omissions, that person’s estate may have a claim against the wrongdoer. The deceased person is usually referred to as the Decedent. An estate must be opened with the court and the court will appoint a Personal Representative to administer the estate’s business. Typically, the Personal Representative is the Decedent’s spouse or closest living family member. The Personal Representative may then bring a wrongful death claim against the at-fault party.
If your family member has passed as the wrongful result of another person’s acts or omissions, we can assist you in taking the legal action necessary to make your claim. Contact us now for a free consultation.
Personal Injury Damages
Victims of personal injuries are entitled to recover legal damages as compensation for their injuries. We will help you determine the full extent of your legal damages and will obtain your medical records and medical bills free of charge.
Because litigation can sometimes be a lengthy process, we recommend that you keep a journal beginning on the day of your accident, if possible. Your journal should include information on your medical treatment, including the dates on which you saw your medical providers and your doctors’ names. You should also keep track of the number of days you have missed from work. Be sure and include information about your health; if you are feeling pain, note the region of your body, the severity of the pain, and the length of time the pain lasted. If your injuries prevented you from participating in any family trips, extracurricular activities, or other events, make a note.
You are entitled to recover payment for all of your medical bills which are reasonable and causally related to the accident. This includes future medical costs that are necessitated by your injuries.
You are entitled to recover payment for all of your lost wages which are causally related to the accident. This includes wages lost in the past, as well as wages you are reasonably expected to lose in the future as a result of the accident.
PAIN AND SUFFERING
You are entitled to recover payment for all of your pain and suffering related to the accident, both past, and present. Pain and suffering damages should not be considered lightly; depending on the circumstances, pain and suffering awards can sometimes be quite significant.
OUT OF POCKET EXPENSES
You are entitled to recover all of your out of pocket expenses, including mileage to and from treating physicians and the costs associated with prescription medications. Be sure and keep track of these amounts as they can be difficult to reconstruct.
Under some circumstances, you may be entitled to recover punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended to punish a wrongdoer for gross negligence and/or intentional acts. The Florida legislature has passed several statutes that serve to define punitive damages and limit its application and amount. However, you should know that under proper circumstances, punitive damages are recoverable.