Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys Serving the People of Ruskin, FL
We find Ruskin, Florida to be exhilaratingly diverse – the E.G. Simmons Regional Park offers breathtaking waterfront views, the Camp Bayou Outdoor Learning centers offers various outdoor activities in a well-preserved portion of the Little Manatee River Watershed, and the Cockroach Bay Aquatic Preserve offers access to abundant wildlife in the reserve’s 4,800 acres of wetlands. More than anything else, however, it is Ruskin’s friendly people whom we love, including some of our friends and clients.
Despite all of its memorable experiences, however, the dark side of life comes back to bite us sometimes – and some get bitten worse than others. Hidden dangers abound – an overworked truck driver on the highway, a medical intern who hasn’t slept for 24 hours, or the corner-cutting manufacturer of a dangerous product can all set in motion a chain of events that leads to serious harm.
If you have recently been the victim of an accident, you might not know where to turn. Even the hospital that is treating you is also sending you bills that you cannot pay. You may not know when you will be healthy enough to return to work, or if your old job will even be waiting for you when you get back on your feet. It hurts even worse to discover that your injury was the completely avoidable result of someone else’s inexcusable carelessness.
Do You Need a Personal Injury Law Firm?
Seldom will a responsible party respond to a claim for damages with a simple “OK!” and a cashier’s check for the full amount of your losses. You can expect them to put up the kind of resistance that you would have difficulty facing in complete health, much less in your weakened position.
You needn’t worry, however – the personal injury attorneys at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk have been around the personal injury claims track thousands of times before. The 15,000 or so personal injury clients whose cases we have won over the last 25 years could fill a stadium. Helping victims pursue personal injury claims and settlements and verdicts is what we do all day, every day – in fact, that is all we do, to the exclusion of any other field of law.
Some of Our Practice Areas
Car Accidents: Every single day, Florida road accidents kill half a dozen or more people and injure dozens of others. In fact, Florida’s roads are among the nation’s most dangerous. About a quarter of all injury accidents are alcohol-related, and most of the rest are the result of the negligence of at least one party.
Drunken Driving Accidents: Drunk drivers cause over 25 percent of all Florida traffic fatalities, and serious injuries are even more common. In addition to criminal charges, you can pursue civil liability against a drunken driver. Victory is not automatic, however – you must prove that the driver’s intoxication actually caused the accident.
Bicycle Accidents: A bicycle versus a motorist is no contest – in fact, these accidents are among the most serious of all road accidents in terms of rates of death and serious injury. In some ways, a bicyclist is even more vulnerable than a motorcyclist, since he or she lacks the ability to accelerate out of danger the way that a motorcyclist can.
Brain Injuries: Brain injuries tend to be among the most serious of all injuries, because the brain is the body’s command and control system. Despite this reality, you might not even be aware of a brain injury until quite some times after it occurs. Brain injury cases can be difficult to prove, especially when they involve malpractice, because these cases tend to be scientifically complex.
Product Liability: A product liability lawsuit can be based on malfunctioning airbags, a defective drug, or a failing medical implant, just to name a few products that commonly trigger product liability claims. Florida product liability law allows injured victims to file claims against manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, and retailers of defective products.
Birth Injuries: A serious birth injury turns what should have been a time of joy into a time of sorrow and anxiety. Unfortunately, nearly one percent of all deliveries involve injury to either the infant or the mother. Some of these injuries are serious – about 10,000 babies a year develop cerebral palsy due to oxygen deprivation during delivery, for example.
Pedestrian Accidents: Florida enjoys the dubious distinction of the fourth-highest pedestrian fatality rate in the nation, and its rate of non-fatal pedestrian accidents is no more encouraging. When flesh meets steel, the result is almost always disastrous. Unfortunately, pedestrian accident rates have been increasing for several years now throughout Florida, as have pedestrian personal injury claims.
In addition to the foregoing types of accidents, we also handle:
- truck accidents
- motorcycle accidents
- slip and fall accidents
- construction accidents
- medical malpractice
- dog bites
- nursing home abuse
- Many other types of personal injuries
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can I sue for a dog bite that occurred on the dog owner’s property?
Yes, you can sue under Florida’s dog bite statute, at least as long as you were not trespassing at the time of the bite. Unlike many other states, in Florida there is no “one bite rule” – to win, you do not have to prove that the dog acted aggressively in the past so as to put the owner on notice that the dog could be dangerous. The property owner can escape liability, however, if the victim was at least six years old and the owner had placed a “Beware of Dog” sign on the property.
Can I file a lawsuit for emotional distress?
To maintain a personal injury lawsuit, you must allege some physical injury, and to win one you must submit medical evidence of one. Once you prove that much, you might be able to receive damages for the emotional distress that arose directly from the physical injury. You cannot receive personal injury damages, for example, simply because a doctor negligently diagnosed you and inaccurately told you that you were terminally ill.
It is possible to win a lawsuit for “intentional infliction of severe emotional distress;” however, you must show that the infliction of distress was intentional, not negligent.
Should I sue or settle out of court?
In most cases, it is best to start off by attempting to settle the claim out of court, and most personal injury claims are resolved that way. In some cases, you may be forced to file a lawsuit, either to pressure the defendant to raise the settlement offer, or to beat the statute of limitations deadline. Even if you do file a lawsuit, however, it is still possible to reach a settlement any time before the final verdict – in fact, judges encourage this.
Do I have to prove liability beyond a reasonable doubt?
No, you don’t. The “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard is used in criminal prosecutions, not civil lawsuits over money damages. For most purposes, the applicable standard is “preponderance of the evidence,” which means a 51 percent likelihood that your claims are true. If you claim punitive damages, you may have to prove your eligibility under a higher standard of proof (see below).
Am I eligible for punitive damages?
It depends on the facts of your case. In most cases, the court will not award punitive damages. To be eligible, you must: (i) prove your eligibility for ordinary damages (for medical expenses, pain and suffering, etc.), and (ii) prove that the defendant acted intentionally or with “gross negligence” (“gross negligence” is a more blameworthy degree of negligence than ordinary negligence). You must also establish the defendant’s intent or gross negligence through “clear and convincing evidence,” which is a higher standard of proof than the standard applicable to ordinary damages.
You might have a good claim for punitive damages, for example, if you were injured in a car accident and the defendant was arrested for DUI at the scene of the accident.
Contact Us Today – We Offer Free Case Evaluations
In the event of an accident, your choice of law firm could be the most important decision you have made in years. Law firms are plentiful in central Florida, and of course every law firm will tell you that it is top-tier. Only a few of them, however, can back up this claim with objective evidence.
At Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, we are proud of its “AV” rating, the highest possible rating from Martindale-Hubbell, a national law firm rating system. The “A” signifies that the firm’s legal ability is “very high to preeminent.” The “V” denotes that our firm observes “very high” ethical standards. Also we are an accredited business of the Better Business Bureau with an A+ rating.
More importantly, in our quarter of a century of law practice, we have won hundreds of millions of dollars for our clients, including quite a few multimillion dollar verdicts and settlements.
We offer our clients our “no win, no pay” guarantee. If we don’t win, you don’t pay – no legal fees and no costs.
If you live or work in Ruskin, call us today toll-free at 800-753-5203, or contact us online to schedule a cost-free, obligation-free consultation of your claim. If you cannot come to our office, we can either conduct a telephone evaluation or meet you at your home or office in Ruskin. Contact us 24/7 and you will find a representative standing by to take your call.