Personal Injury Lawyers Serving Palm Harbor, FL
Palm Harbor, Florida is a renowned for its hospitality – but then again, nobody needed to tell us that, because some of our best clients and friends live there and we have experienced it personally. This spectacular Gulf of Mexico town enthralls us with the various small shops and restaurants of its charming downtown district, the monthly “Palm Harbor’s First Friday Celebrations,” and the annual “Taste of Palm Harbor” festival offering music and delicious local food.
Although Palm Harbor residents and visitors enjoy some of the best that life has to offer, life has a way of revealing its distressing side at some of the most inopportune moments. A careless driver or an on overworked doctor can cause a mishap that changes your life in an instant, and not for the better.
Shock and pain are normal reactions when a serious accident storms into your life like a bull in a china shop. The distress is always more than physical – it is also emotional and, too often, financial. When your life seems to be crashing down on you and your claim for just compensation seems to be getting nowhere with the responsible party, you are going to need some outside help.
That is where we come in.
We’ve Got Your Back
At Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, we don’t dabble in various fields of law like most “general practitioner” law firms do. We focus exclusively on personal injury law – in fact, our attorneys enjoy over a century in combined experience helping clients just like you. With a 25-year history of obtaining justice for over 15,000 clients, there is not much that can happen in your case that we haven’t seen many, many times before – and we are ready for action.
Our lawyers are equally adept at negotiating settlements and winning contentious lawsuits. Our first focus, however, is prompt and aggressive representation with the goal of winning a generous settlement for you as soon as possible. If a lawsuit becomes necessary, though, we are well-prepared – in fact, other law firms rent out our trial attorneys for their most difficult litigation. We are so confident in our ability to bring you a settlement or verdict that we work on a “no win, no pay” system. If we don’t bring back a settlement or verdict for you, you will owe us precisely nothing.
A Few of Our Practice Areas
Car Accidents: Florida roads are some of the nation’s most dangerous, unfortunately. Someone dies about once every three hours, and someone has probably been injured in an accident in the time that it has taken you to read this article thus far. About 25 percent of injury accidents are alcohol-related, and many more are caused by careless activities such as texting while driving.
Bicycle Accidents: Bicyclists share the road with vehicles far heavier and faster-moving than bicyclists. In some ways, a bicyclist is even more vulnerable than a motorcyclist, because it is often impossible for a bicyclist to accelerate out of a dangerous traffic situation. Moreover, when bicycle accidents do happen, catastrophic injuries are often the result.
Brain Injuries: The brain is the most marvelously complex organ in the human body. Since it functions as the body’s command and control center, when the brain is injured, the resulting disability is frequently catastrophic. Dangerously, you might not even be aware of a brain injury for weeks or even months after it occurs.
Product Liability: When a defective product causes an injury, a number of legal theories are available to a resourceful products liability lawyer, including strict liability, negligence, misrepresentation, and breach of warranty. In some cases, the victim doesn’t even have to prove misconduct on the part of the defendant to win the case.
Drunk Driving Accidents: Drunk driving accidents are among the most avoidable of all road accidents. A drunken driver can be held liable for an injury accident even if his or her blood alcohol concentration (BAC) falls below the DUI limit. Even so, more than 25 percent of all traffic deaths are DUI-related.
Birth Injuries: Nearly one percent of all deliveries involve birth injuries. While most are not serious, some cause lifelong debilitation. In some cases, the mother suffers significant injury, as well. Birth injuries, if caused by professional negligence, are a form of medical malpractice, and proving liability might require the use of a medical expert witness.
Construction Accidents: Construction work causes more occupational injuries and deaths than any other form of labor, with the possible exception of coal mining. Most construction injury claims fall within the scope of workers’ compensation insurance. Other construction injuries, however, are exempt from workers’ compensation recovery limitations and can be pursued as ordinary personal injury lawsuits.
Pedestrian Accidents: The human body is no match for the cold steel of a moving automobile. Pedestrian accidents are far more common than most people realize – pedestrians make up about 15 percent of all road deaths. Even pedestrians who survive their injuries are often left with lifelong disabilities, which require continuing medical treatment.
We also handle the following types of cases:
- truck accidents
- motorcycle accidents
- slip and fall accidents
- medical malpractice
- dog bites
- nursing home abuse
This is only a partial list of the types of cases we handle – the basics of Florida personal injury law apply no matter what kind of injury you have suffered.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can I still collect damages if the accident was partly my fault?
Yes, you can, but you may have to pay damages to the defendant in proportion to your degree of fault, which, in some cases, could mean that you’ll end up with a net loss. Florida pro-rates damages according to a percentage of fault determined by the court – if you are 35 percent at fault, for example, you will pay 35 percent of your own damages, while the defendant will pay 65 percent. Meanwhile, the defendant could file a counterclaim against you demanding the you pay 35 percent of his or her damages, since the accident was 35 percent your fault. You will usually come out ahead if the accident was less than 50 percent your fault.
How long after an accident do I have to file a personal injury lawsuit?
For a general personal injury lawsuit, such as a lawsuit over a car accident, you have four years after the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. If you fail to meet the deadline, your claim will die. This period can be extended if you didn’t discover the injury until after the accident (some brain injuries are like that, for example).
If your claim is for medical malpractice, you have only two years after the malpractice to file a lawsuit. This deadline can be extended if you didn’t discover the injury immediately, if your doctor fraudulently concealed your malpractice, or if you are under eight years old.
What is a “certificate of counsel” and do I need one?
A certificate of counsel is a document, filed together with an initial lawsuit complaint, that is required to initiate a medical malpractice lawsuit. It is essentially a statement from your lawyer confirming that reasonable grounds exist to believe that medical malpractice occurred. It is typically accompanied by an opinion from a medical expert that medical malpractice is likely to have occurred. The purpose of this requirement is to discourage frivolous medical malpractice lawsuits.
I slipped on a wet floor in a restaurant. Do I have a claim?
Maybe. The question of liability in this instance depends on the details of the occurrence. The essential question is whether the restaurant had a reasonable opportunity to either dry the floor or warn of its hazardous condition by the time of your accident. If a customer spilled a soda on the floor ten seconds before you slipped, for example, the restaurant could argue that it had no reasonable chance to dry the floor before your accident. If, on the other hand, the floor was wet because an employee mopped it but failed to erect a warning sign, you might have a good chance to establish liability.
I signed a medical consent form before treatment. Can this be used against me in a medical malpractice lawsuit?
Probably not, but under limited circumstances a consent form could be used against you. Of course, no one ever “consents” to medical malpractice, and courts would refuse to acknowledge a form that purported to grant such consent. If, however, your claim asserts that you did not consent to a particular medical treatment, the consent form could be used to prove you wrong.
Take Action Today
Call us today at 800-753-5203 or contact us online by email or live chat to schedule your free case evaluation. We can conduct a telephone evaluation of your case, or we can meet you at the place of your choosing in Palm Harbor. If you live or work in Palm Harbor, contact us 24/7 regardless of whether you think you have a good case. We will have a representative standing by to take your call.