Pensacola Personal Injury Lawyers Answer Frequently Asked Questions About Florida and Alabama Car Accidents and More
If you have been injured due to the negligence or misconduct of another, you probably have a lot of questions regarding how to go about receiving compensation for your injuries. At the Law Offices of J.J. Talbott in Pensacola, we are frequently asked questions from people like you in Florida and Alabama regarding car accidents and other types of injuries. Below are answers to some of the questions we hear most often. If you have other questions, or if you need help with a personal injury matter in southern Alabama or the Florida panhandle, contact us for a free case review with one of our attorneys.
Another driver ran a stop sign and hit me. Can I still recover compensation from the negligent driver who hit me, even if I was speeding at the time?
The answer to your questions depends on whether you are considered to have been negligent in your own driving and, if so, the laws of the state you live in. Florida follows the rule of pure comparative negligence, which means you can recover against the other driver, but your recovery is reduced by the percentage of blame assigned to you. Even if you are considered to have been more than 50% at fault in causing the accident, you could still recover. Alabama, on the other hand, follows the rule of pure contributory negligence, where the slightest blame on your part could keep you from recovering a single penny.
When representing injured clients in either state, our attorneys fight hard to make sure you are not unfairly saddled with any of the fault for an accident you did not cause.
How long do I have to file a personal injury lawsuit?
In most cases, the statute of limitations requires that you file your lawsuit within two years of the date of the injury, or else you can be prohibited from recovering from the negligent party. However, this deadline may be longer or shorter depending upon a variety of factors, such as the type of negligence (medical malpractice, birth injury, product defect), the age of the victim (minor, adult), and the status of the defendant (public entity, private person).
Two years may seem like a long time, but it can pass by quickly while you are busy with the aftermath of a serious personal injury, such as concentrating on your physical recovery; dealing with insurance forms, doctor and hospital bills and other paperwork; and getting back to work or collecting disability. If you are talking to the insurance company about a settlement, these negotiations can drag on past the deadline for you to file a lawsuit if you are not careful, which can be disastrous to your case.
Contacting an attorney soon after the accident will help ensure that the statute of limitations will not be overlooked, as well as handling other important matters such as notifying your insurance company in a timely fashion. Also, your lawyer will get started right away gathering important evidence and preparing your case for the best result either through settlement or verdict.
Are dog owners liable whenever their dog bites a person?
Florida law imposes strict liability on dog owners. This means the owners are liable whenever their dog bites another, regardless of whether the owner was being careful or negligent with the dog and whether the owner had any reason to believe the dog might be dangerous. The only exception is when the owner had a “Bad Dog” sign posted prominently in the yard and was not otherwise negligent, but this exception only applies if the victim of the attack was six years old or older.
Alabama dog bite law is a little more complex. Generally speaking, an owner who is careless with the animal, such as allowing it to roam free off-leash, can be liable for injuries caused. Even without negligence, an owner can still be held strictly liable in certain circumstances, but the amount of damages may be reduced if the owner had no knowledge that the animal may be dangerous.
Do you take cases on a contingency fee basis?
Yes. If we represent you in your personal injury case, we do not charge any fee upfront. You only pay us if we obtain a settlement or verdict for you. Our fee is a percentage of the amount you receive, so you don’t have to worry about being able to afford quality legal representation when you are injured. Also, we can advance the costs of the lawsuit, such as court filing fees and expert witness fees, so it doesn’t cost you anything out of your pocket to pursue your claim. Our costs are reimbursed from the settlement or verdict we obtain for you.
Do you still have questions? Call us today at 850.437.9600 for a free consultation.