Personal Injury

Miami Lakes Personal Injury

Suffering an injury comes with considerable physical, emotional, and financial challenges. When that injury occurs because someone else was at fault, you have the right to be compensated. However, whether or not you receive that compensation—and whether it is for a fair and just amount—may depend on the quality of your attorney. 

The personal injury lawyer at our Miami Lakes office has over 12 years of experience. Furthermore, Steszewski Law boasts a team of dedicated paralegals, enabling us to provide comprehensive and diligent representation for our clients. This depth of experience and support is often vital in navigating the complexities of personal injury cases. 

Contact our office by calling (888) 342-6840 or by using our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.

The 4 Elements of Negligence

Negligence is at the core of every personal injury lawsuit. A plaintiff’s lawyer must show that the defendant’s actions—and the consequences that resulted—meet the legal standard for negligence. 

There are four components of negligence, and every one of them must be met for the plaintiff to secure a financial settlement. They are as follows: 

Duty of Care

The concept of duty of care forms the bedrock of establishing legal responsibility. Duty of care refers to the legal obligation one party holds to avoid causing harm to another. This involves an assessment of the relationship between the parties involved.

Duty of care examples include: 

  • Car accidents and Truck Accidents: Drivers owe a duty of care to other motorists, pedestrians, and passengers to operate their vehicles in a safe and responsible manner.
  • Slip and fall incidents: Property owners or managers have a duty of care to maintain a safe environment for visitors and guests, ensuring that hazards are identified and addressed promptly.
  • Medical malpractice: Healthcare professionals, including doctors, nurses, and medical facilities, owe a duty of care to their patients. They must provide a standard of care consistent with professional guidelines and best practices.
  • Product liability claims: Manufacturers, distributors, and retailers owe a duty of care to consumers to ensure that the products they provide are safe for their intended use, free from defects, and accompanied by clear warnings and instructions.

Breach of Duty

Presuming duty of care exists, a breach of that duty occurs when an individual or entity fails to uphold the level of care that a reasonably prudent person would exercise in similar circumstances. 

To establish a breach of duty, it's essential to assess the specific obligations and responsibilities that apply to the circumstances at hand. This often requires a careful examination of relevant laws, regulations, industry standards, and the specific actions or inactions of the party in question. 

Here are five common examples of breach of duty in personal injury cases:

  • Failure to follow traffic laws: A driver breaches their duty of care by speeding, running a red light, or driving under the influence.
  • Negligent property maintenance: Property owners breach their duty by failing to address known hazards such as slippery floors, broken steps, or inadequate lighting, leading to slip and fall accidents.
  • Medical malpractice: Healthcare providers can breach their duty of care through misdiagnosis, surgical errors, medication mistakes, or inadequate patient monitoring.
  • Defective products: Manufacturers breach their duty of care by releasing products with design flaws, manufacturing defects, or inadequate warnings.

Causation

Causation means that the defendant’s breach of their duty of care is, in fact, the cause of the plaintiff’s injuries. 

This involves demonstrating cause in fact or legal causation: 

  • Cause in fact, often termed as "actual cause," involves showing a clear link between the defendant's conduct and the harm suffered by the plaintiff. It requires evidence that, but for the defendant's actions, the injury would not have occurred.
  • Legal causation extends beyond the direct physical cause and considers whether your injuries were a reasonably foreseeable consequence of the defendant’s conduct. 

Personal injury lawsuits demand a thorough presentation of evidence to establish that the defendant's actions were the cause of the plaintiff's injuries. The team at our Miami Lakes office can work on evidence gathering that involves medical records, expert testimony, accident reconstruction analysis, and other forms of evidence to support the relationship between the defendant's negligence and the harm suffered by the plaintiff.

Damages

Once the first three steps have been established, the final step is to show that the plaintiff suffered damages as a consequence. 

Damages can include the following: 

  • Medical expenses: This includes the costs of present and future medical treatment, hospital stays, surgeries, rehabilitation, medication, and therapy directly related to the injury.
  • Lost wages: Economic damages compensate for the income lost due to the injury, including wages, bonuses, and other forms of compensation that the plaintiff would have earned if not for the injury.
  • Property damage: This encompasses the repair or replacement costs for any property damaged in the incident, such as vehicles in a car accident.
  • Pain and suffering: Non-economic damages account for the physical discomfort, emotional distress, and mental anguish experienced by the plaintiff as a result of the injury.
  • Loss of consortium: These damages compensate for the negative impact of the injury on the plaintiff's relationships with their spouse, including loss of companionship, affection, and intimacy.
  • Punitive damages: These are designed to send a message that certain actions will not be tolerated within society. Punitive damages are rare and are limited to 3x the total amount of everything else, and capped at $500,000. 

Modified Comparative Negligence in Florida

Once the final damage total is added up, it is distributed based on modified comparative negligence. Under this system, the degree of fault is distributed among all parties involved in an accident. If a defendant is deemed 80% at fault for the accident, the plaintiff can collect 80% of the damages. 

However, there is a crucial threshold to consider--if the plaintiff's level of fault exceeds 50%, they are barred from recovering any damages. 

Florida's adoption of the modified comparative negligence rule has shifted the legal landscape by emphasizing shared responsibility for accidents and injuries. This legal framework underscores the significance of determining each party's degree of fault in a personal injury case—and why it’s important to have an attorney who will literally fight for every last percentage point. 

A Reliable Personal Injury Lawyer in Miami Lakes and the Surrounding Area

At Steszewski Law, we operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning our clients only pay legal fees if we successfully secure compensation on their behalf. Furthermore, we offer a free consultation, including virtual meetings, to discuss the specifics of each case and provide personalized guidance. We are committed to transparency, advocacy, and client-centered representation. 

We offer a free consultation, including virtual meetings, to discuss the specifics of each case and provide personalized guidance. Call (888) 342-6840 today.

Hear From Our Satisfied Clients

At Steszewski Law, we take pride in understanding client needs and crafting cost-effective personalized solutions tailored to you.

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