Personal Injury Attorneys
If you have been injured in an accident, you undoubtedly have questions, and maybe concerns, about what to do next. Trust the experienced personal injury attorneys with Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes to handle your case.
We have law offices in Tampa, Clearwater, and surrounding areas of Hillsborough, Pinellas, Hernando, and Pasco County, where we provide a variety of personal injury services. In every case, our accident lawyers work compassionately yet aggressively on our client’s behalf. So while you are concentrating on healing, we will be focused on getting you fair compensation.
Here you can learn more information about personal injury claims and lawsuits — including what your case is potentially worth — and what steps you should take after an accident. Feel free to contact us anytime to schedule a free consultation.
What Is a Personal Injury?
What do whiplash, blindness, and paralysis all have in common? They are examples of personal injuries. A personal injury is a physical ailment to the body or mind. In a legal context, personal injury cases are based on liability and damages. If a defendant is shown to be liable for the injuries to a plaintiff, then that plaintiff, depending on the nature and extent of the injuries, could be eligible for compensation determined through negotiations, insurance claims, or lawsuits.
Why Do I Need an Injury Lawyer?
Whether it is an ankle sprain or traumatic brain injury (TBI), any personal injury can not only cause pain and suffering but also lead to lost wages, medical expenses, and other adverse effects on a person’s life. In the case of a permanent injury, the person may even have to make significant changes to their home, daily habits, and career aspirations. All of these costs are potential damages that a personal injury attorney can help you receive compensation for.
Some accidents are, of course, accidental and no one’s fault. However, if your injury was the result of negligence on someone else’s part, you may be owed money. Negotiations over damages can be uncontentious, or they can become complex disputes. A good example is when an insurance company, in an effort not to pay what it owes, argues that a plaintiff’s injuries were due to a preexisting medical condition rather than an accident. Part of our job is to make sure the insurers do not get away with that.
Our personal injury lawyers stand toe-to-toe with the big insurance providers to negotiate fair settlements for our clients and, when necessary, take the cases to court. Even in obvious cases of negligence, having an injury attorney on your side can help you avoid missteps or roadblocks when gathering evidence or filing a claim.
What Is My Personal Injury Case Worth?
Calculating the compensation in a personal injury case is about seeing the big picture: not only the person’s needs for today and tomorrow but years (and sometimes decades) in the future. How much an injury case is worth depends on damages such as medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages. Remember, injuries can heal soon or last a lifetime; they can produce symptoms that are felt right away or not for years. That is why it is important to consult a personal injury lawyer before settling the case. One of the biggest mistakes to avoid is accepting the first offer from the defendant or their insurance provider only to find out down the road that it was less than what was needed. Our personal injury lawyers have recovered millions for our clients. Review our past personal injury settlements for an idea of how we can help you.
Compensatory Damages for Personal Injuries
In a personal injury case, compensatory damages are typically awarded to the plaintiff who represents the injured party. Most settlements happen outside of court after negotiations between the plaintiff’s attorneys and the defendant’s attorneys or insurance provider. If a dispute cannot be settled this way, the plaintiff’s lawyers may sue the defendant in court and have a judge or jury order them to pay. There are several forms of compensation for a personal injury, including:
- Medical Bills
- Lost Wages
- Pain and Suffering
- Emotional Distress
- Wrongful Death
- Loss of Consortium
- Punitive Damages
Because of the complex nature of personal injuries, many plaintiffs are eligible for multiple types of compensation. To make sure your settlement covers all of the damages you incurred, consult our accident attorneys.
What Are the Common Causes of Personal Injuries?
Negligence, in general, is what causes the majority of personal injuries, including:
- Auto accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Boating accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Gun accidents
- Truck accidents
While some lawyers focus only on specific types of accidents, our personal injury law firm is different: we handle all types of cases, including those listed above as well as other common types of accidents in Florida.
In the greater Tampa and Clearwater area, auto accidents involving cars, trucks, and motorcycles are a top cause of personal injuries. Vehicle accidents can make for tricky personal injury cases, though, because Florida is a “No-Fault” state, where drivers are required to have personal injury protection (PIP) insurance for a minimum of $10,000. In other words, to file a personal injury claim after a vehicle accident, a driver must have medical bills or lost wages over $10,000, while a personal injury lawsuit can only be filed when there is a permanent injury, as defined under Florida Statutes Section 627.737(2). The potential damages owed after a car accident injury include pain and suffering, mental anguish, and inconveniences caused by sickness, disease, or bodily injury. If you are in a vehicle accident, document the scene, seek medical attention and consult a car accident attorney to receive fair compensation.
Types of Personal Injury Cases
Because our accident attorneys have experience with a broad range of personal injury cases, we know that every kind of injury has a unique context. Learning the details surrounding your injury case helps ensure that you request the correct amount of compensation for damages.
Spinal Cord Injuries
A spinal cord injury can be the result of an auto accident, medical malpractice, workplace fall, gunshot accident, sports accident, and other types of trauma. In severe cases, a spinal cord injury can result in paralysis, such as quadriplegia (paralysis of all four limbs) or paraplegia (paralysis of the lower extremities.) A permanent spinal injury not only would result in significant life changes but also lost wages, medical bills, and costs associated with making one’s residence accessible for a wheelchair or other assistive device. After a spinal cord injury, a person can be filled with grief and confront new questions and challenges. However, the quest for compensation doesn’t have to feel overwhelming. Hire a spinal cord injury lawyer to protect your rights and receive fair compensation.
Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
A traumatic brain injury occurs when someone suffers from sudden trauma to the brain, such as during a car accident or an assault. TBI can result in lingering complications, including memory loss, behavioral and emotional changes, and cognitive problems. In severe cases, brain injury can be fatal. TBI is a specialized field of personal injury law. Our traumatic brain injury attorneys understand the causes of these injuries and how to anticipate short- and long-term damages from them when fighting for compensation.
Common back injuries are strains, fractures, ligament damage, bruising, and herniated discs. A back injury that happens in the workplace, such as a fall or muscle strain from heavy lifting, or results from an accident, could be grounds for a personal injury claim. Back injuries can not only lead to debilitating pain but also, in some cases, require surgery and extensive medical treatment. Even if a back injury does not require surgery, it can still prevent a person from working, leading to a loss of income. Meanwhile, even mild back injuries can create pain, sleeping issues, and otherwise disrupt a person’s daily life. A personal injury attorney knows how to account for the whole spectrum of pain, suffering, and other damages associated with back injury cases. Nobody should have to pay out of pocket to treat back pain that wasn’t their fault.
Neck injuries can include whiplash, pinched nerves, and herniated discs. One complication neck injuries have as personal injury cases is the symptoms do not always occur right away but instead can appear later as lingering symptoms, such as headaches, a reduced range of motion, and painful muscle spasms. Even if the injury is not extreme, the neck pain it causes can still inhibit a person’s lifestyle and ability to work, even as medical bills and expenses mount. Our neck injury lawyers understand the complexities of all types of neck injuries and will help you receive fair compensation for short-term and future damages.
While knee injuries are typically caused by aging, genetics, or overexertion, they can also be the result of medical malpractice, auto accidents, and other examples of negligence. In these cases, there could be grounds for a personal injury claim or lawsuit. Specific accidents featured in knee injury cases can include ligament tears, such as a torn meniscus or ACL, along with dislocations and fractures. Knee injuries can also be costly compared to other personal injuries because they often require surgery. And even when surgery can address immediate issues of pain and immobility, the injury can still have lifelong negative impacts. Like most other personal injuries, a knee injury can also lead to physical struggles that inhibit a person’s ability to earn a living wage. Our accident attorneys understand that every knee injury is unique to the individual who has it, and so are the damages associated with the injury. We work with you to grasp your knee injury case and find the right amount of compensation.
Sprains & Strains
When someone experiences a slip, trip, or fall accident, a common injury that results is a sprain or strain. Sprains and strains often happen after premises liability accidents, such as slips or falls in the workplace or on private property, such as a wet retail store floor. These are often grounds for personal injury cases. Although sprains and strains are less severe than other types of injuries, they still require medical attention, or else they can temporarily hinder a person’s ability to work and enjoy life. Sprains and strains can also have lasting effects: like a torn piece of paper, it’s challenging to reattach a damaged ligament or tendon after an accident. If you have a sprain or strain injury, consult a doctor to document its severity, then consult a personal injury attorney.
When a limb is injured during a car or motorcycle crash, machinery accident, explosion, or another traumatic event, it might need to be surgically removed. After an amputation injury, the victim often has to adjust to major life changes, such as using a prosthesis or relying more on other limbs. Someone with an accidental amputation may struggle with grief and pain and may experience phantom limb syndrome. Getting used to an artificial limb and new body image also takes a considerable amount of time and work and can be stressful. While wrongful amputations associated with medical malpractice can be especially disheartening. Amputations can also be expensive, considering the costs for surgery and prostheses. If your amputation was the result of an accident, you could be owed money for medical bills, pain and suffering, and loss of future earnings. Before you settle, consult an amputation attorney about your case.
When the gel inside a spinal disc penetrates a crack in the disc’s exterior casing, known as a herniated, bulging, or slipped disc, the injury can be painful and debilitating. Physical weakness and the inability to sit for long periods can prevent a person from working, while long stretches of inactivity can contribute to mental anguish. When a bulging disc is the result of a slip-and-fall, automotive, or workplace accident, the injured party could be entitled to damages. However, a slipped disc will not always exhibit symptoms right away. That is why it is important to speak with a herniated disc lawyer before settling with an insurance company. Sometimes, the insurance company may even try to argue that a herniated disc was caused by a preexisting condition and not an accident. That is when our personal injury attorneys go to bat against the insurance companies to negotiate fair compensation for our clients.
Eye Trauma & Blindness
In some cases, a person who suffers an eye injury may be owed compensation. These instances might include blindness caused by a car accident or blow to the head, retinal detachment during cataract surgery, and eye trauma caused by exposure to dangerous chemicals in the workplace. Eye injuries and blindness can lead to life-altering circumstances, including a loss of independence and earning potential. Sudden blindness also places physical and emotional strain on a person and their loved ones. If you have suffered a temporary, partial, or total loss of sight due to an accident, you could be owed compensatory damages. Our personal injury attorneys understand that life after an eye injury is challenging. We work compassionately yet aggressively to fight for your just compensation.
How Our Attorneys Fight for You
As experienced personal injury attorneys, we know that life after a severe injury is difficult — but not impossible. If your life has been turned around because of injury, we can help you through this challenging process. With an experienced personal injury attorney on your side, you can successfully navigate through the complications of Florida’s personal injury laws. Our accident lawyers have experience in a wide range of injury cases and will use that knowledge to maximize your odds of receiving just compensation.
How You Can Help in a Personal Injury Case
Our goal is to remove the weight from your shoulders so you can focus on healing while we fight for the compensation you are owed. That said, there are steps you can take to improve the odds of having a successful personal injury case, including:
- Deny fault for the injury
- Seek continual medical treatment
- Document your health journey
- Share all documentation our attorneys
When Should You File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Many personal injury cases are settled out of court with no need for a trial. However, if your case requires filing a lawsuit, you should be aware of the statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits in Florida. According to Florida Statutes Section 95.11, there is a four-year time limit to file a lawsuit after an accident. In general, we recommend patients wait to settle their cases until after seeking medical treatment and speaking with our personal injury lawyers. In some cases, symptoms from an injury can be hidden early on but then appear later in life.
How Much Do Personal Injury Lawyers Cost?
If you are worried that hiring a personal injury lawyer is too expensive, you may be pleasantly surprised. Our attorneys use a contingency fee system, so instead of paying an hourly rate or other fees, you owe us no money upfront. We get paid only if we win your case. In other words, our compensation is tied to yours. Given that many of our plaintiffs are injured and already paying medical bills and covering additional expenses, they prefer our payment model. Rather than burden you with legal bills, we provide you with experienced legal counsel for immediate cost.
Contact Us to Schedule a Free Consultation
If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury, please schedule a free legal consultation with Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes. During our one-on-one meeting, we will advise you on whether you have a case, what it could be worth, and what the next steps are to proceed. In preparation for the consultation, please gather any documentation related to your case, such as hospital papers or witness statements. The more information we have up front, the faster we can get to work fighting for the compensation you deserve.
Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes (formerly Perenich & Carroll) was founded in 1955. We are exclusively invested in helping personal injury victims— and their loved ones — win compensation and find justice. We approach every case with passion, experience, and dedication, and strive to provide the answers you need, when you need them.
If you have suffered from any type of personal injury, please call us at 727-796-8282 or visit us online at USALAW.com to schedule a complementary case consultation. Someone from our office will get back in touch to schedule an appointment to go over your potential case, answer your questions, and help you decide the next steps. If you are able to, please gather any documentation and information related to your injury, like hospital paperwork or the contact information for others involved in your accident, to bring to your consultation. If you are seeking a personal injury attorney, please contact us. We’ll see you through.