If you’ve sustained injuries in an accident that was someone else’s fault, you have the right to be compensated for your damages and losses. The experienced Dade City personal injury lawyers at Nicoletti Walker Accident Injury Lawyers fight hard for injury victims. We have helped victims throughout Florida get the compensation to which they are legally entitled.
Dade City is proud of its historic Floridian image. Our proud town started as a center of agriculture, which gradually shifted to the service, government, and retail jobs that support our economy today. The Pioneer Florida Museum celebrates that history with a living history exhibition that sprawls over sixteen acres. The annual Pioneer Days Festival also celebrates our proud history.
As fun and educational as the Pioneer Days Festival is, the event can also be risky. Our city also hosts many other annual events, and the Kumquat Festival, Church Street Christmas, and the Country Christmas Stroll can increase the risk of auto accidents and injuries. Our half marathon and Battle of Brilliance bicycle race can also lead to accidents and injuries. And every month, many families enjoy our Classic Car Cruise-In, another fun event with the potential for auto accidents and injuries.
Florida has a no-fault insurance system when it comes to auto coverage, and every driver must carry personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. Your first order of business following a crash is to file a claim with your PIP provider, even if you were not to blame. This coverage provides compensation for medical bills and part of your lost income, but only up to a certain amount.
Even though your PIP claim is not an adversarial one, your insurance company can still be challenging, just like any other insurance company. You still want to have a lawyer assisting with your PIP claim to ensure you receive full compensation under your policy, and so you know when you should explore other possible options for compensation.
When you are dealing with injuries, you might not know where to turn or who to trust. There are many ways to search for a lawyer, but you might come back with an overwhelming number of results.
Some things to consider include:
Many people call personal injury law firms that are difficult to reach or that do not seem to care about your situation. When you call Nicoletti Walker Accident Injury Lawyers, you can expect us to listen to your story and give you our full and honest opinion about your case.
Some other personal injury law firms might not have interests in cases that they believe are either too small or too complicated. Our firm has the resources to help clients with all types of injuries, whether you need a PIP claim or complex injury litigation. Reach out today to learn more!
You might not think of Dade City as a hotspot for dangerous car crashes. After all, public records show one fatal accident in our city in just one recent year and just two in another year. However, fatal accidents are not the only ones that disrupt lives and cause devastating losses to families. Every year, hundreds of thousands of Floridians are involved in auto accidents, many of whom suffer debilitating injuries from which they will never fully recover.
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reports over four hundred thousand Florida car accidents in each of two recent years. Over three thousand deaths occurred each year due to these accidents, and over 150,000 injuries occurred each year as well. That is hundreds of thousands of Florida families suffering the consequences of medical bills, painful rehabilitations and recoveries, lost wages, career disruptions, and other life-changing consequences.
It is not just collisions between two passenger vehicles that lead to injuries. Many accidents involve motorcycles, bicycles, scooter riders, or pedestrians. These victims are even more susceptible to injuries because they do not have the same level of protection as motor vehicle operators. A vehicle has seatbelts and airbags. Even the steel frame of the vehicle absorbs the force of a collision by crumpling in designated areas.
Motorcycle riders, bicyclists, and scooter riders often have only a helmet for protection. Pedestrians are completely exposed and experience the full force of impact with a vehicle, as well as a secondary impact with the ground or nearby objects. Such vulnerability is why pedestrians are more likely to sustain severe or fatal injuries in an auto accident.
Car accidents in Dade City occur for different reasons. Sometimes a driver commits a simple traffic violation, such as running a red light or failing to make a full stop at a stop sign. Other times the infraction is more serious, such as drunk driving, drugged driving, and other forms of impaired driving. These criminal violations often lead to fatal injuries.
An accident may take place because a driver was not paying attention while behind the wheel. Smartphones are a leading source of driver distraction. The law does not allow for these forms of negligence. If an accident caused by a negligent driver left you injured, you have the legal right to compensation for your injuries and losses.
Of course, auto accidents are not the only way people can sustain injuries in Dade City. Dade City residents may receive injuries at their place of employment. Job-related injuries are more likely in dangerous industries, such as construction and manufacturing. Medical malpractice, which is negligence on the part of a doctor or other healthcare professional, can be a patient’s source of injuries.
Elderly patients are especially vulnerable to medical injuries due to preexisting conditions, so we hold healthcare providers to high standards of care when treating elderly patients. It is important to identify nursing home abuse and neglect, as well.
Our law firm also regularly takes on claims stemming from these injury-causing incidents:
Whatever the type of accident, it is crucial to work with a Dade City personal injury lawyer experienced with that particular type of case. Different cases present different legal issues and different types of injuries. A minor car accident, for example, will cause different injuries than neglect in a nursing home. Your attorney should be familiar with the issues surrounding your specific type of accident and your particular type of injuries.
Some injuries are purely accidental, and no one is at fault, such as spraining your ankle while running or playing a sport. However, many injuries happen because another party acted negligently to cause the accident in question. Determining who might be liable for an accident is the first step to recovering for your injury-related losses, and an experienced Dade City personal injury attorney can help with this process.
Different types of parties can be liable for personal injuries, including:
The liable party will determine which claims your attorney will file on your behalf. These can include auto insurance claims, property insurance claims, claims against general business insurance policies, and more. Claims against the government have specific procedures to follow and shorter deadlines, so it is important not to delay seeking legal assistance from a personal injury lawyer in Dade City.
Many injury victims do not realize the long-term costs and losses they will bear as a result of the accident. The insurance company might attempt to pay only the medical bills you have already incurred and ignore other losses deserving of compensation. You need the services of an attorney who can tell you what your claim is worth and make sure your legal rights are protected.
Many injury victims require continuing medical care for their injuries after an accident case has settled. Some victims will require ongoing treatment for the rest of their lives. If these expenses are related to the accident, the defendant must pay for them.
Of course, it is impossible to know precisely what your medical bills will cost months or years from now. Your attorney will work with the appropriate experts, such as economists and life care planners, to provide evidence of the cost of your future medical expenses.
Medical care also includes any assistive devices you might need, such as a wheelchair or walker. Rehabilitative services are also considered medical care and include physical therapy, chiropractic services, vocational and occupational therapy, speech pathology, and other rehabilitative services made necessary by the accident.
In cases of debilitating injuries, your ongoing medical care might require an in-home nurse or physical therapist. If your injuries have left you immobile, you will need help to get around the house. Such costs are related to the accident and so can be part of a personal injury claim.
Home healthcare is expensive. Insurance companies and their lawyer will almost always fight such a claim, arguing that it is unnecessary or overpriced. Your attorney will work hard with credible experts to provide persuasive evidence of the cost and necessity of any home health services you require.
Permanent injuries will require modifications to your home, such as a wheelchair ramp or a shower large enough for access with a walker. You might need lower countertops or level floors. These changes are expensive, and if they are related to the accident, the defendant is responsible for providing compensation.
An experienced personal injury lawyer will know how to get the right evidence to support such claims. Experts can testify to the cost and necessity of the modifications. Your attorney can demonstrate that other options (for example, moving to a single-story home) are either not feasible or more expensive than the modifications.
For many victims, lost wages are not limited to the immediate period of recovery right after an accident occurs. Some injury victims will never return to work. Others can return but are limited to reduced hours or restricted job responsibilities. These limitations almost always result in lower wages than what the victim could earn before the accident. These changes to a victim’s earning capacity are also considered lost wages that must be compensated by a negligent defendant.
Calculating a lost earning capacity almost always requires expert witnesses. Your attorney might bring in a vocational expert to testify about what you can earn in the job market with your new limitations or an economist to calculate the differences in your earning capacity before and after the accident. The calculation will account for inflation over the rest of your career, as well as other employment benefits like health insurance and employer retirement contributions.
Tangible losses, such as those related to permanent or debilitating injuries, are very evident and have value in a personal injury claim. Unfortunately, insurance companies almost always try to downplay your intangible losses, such as pain and suffering, because they are subjective and difficult to calculate their value.
Here are just a few of the many intangible losses that can receive compensation:
The value of an intangible loss is different in every case and largely dependent on the facts of your particular situation. For example, a pregnant woman cannot take pain medication or get chiropractic care due to the risk of harm to her baby, increasing her pain and suffering.
For an elderly patient suffering from osteoporosis, recovering from a broken bone could take longer and be more painful than if they were younger and healthier. Injury victims should never accept an insurance company’s valuation of their intangible losses. You need an experienced attorney who is on your side to determine the fair value of your claim.
When you suffer an injury in an accident in Dade City, it can disrupt your life in many ways, and you likely have many questions about how you can pick up the pieces and exercise your legal rights. Below are brief answers to some of the common questions our firm hears from clients following their injuries. To discuss your specific case and questions, please reach out directly to our Dade City personal injury attorneys.
Dade City has many events and festivals that draw crowds of people, and any crowded location can have increased risks of accidents and injuries. These include parking lot accidents, falls, and more.
In addition, many people choose to visit the several antique stores we have in town, and these stores might have hazards that cause you to slip and fall or otherwise suffer injuries. If you seek adventure at TreeHoppers Aerial Adventure Park or by taking an airboat tour, you also run the risk of injuries if something goes wrong and an accident happens.
You don’t have to be doing something out of the ordinary to risk injuries in Dade County, as simply driving or walking during your everyday activities can result in life-changing injuries. You might encounter traffic, construction, and other risks on US 98, 6th Street, or along the Meridian Avenue corridor.
No matter how your accident occurs, you want an attorney who is familiar with the area and the common causes of accidents in Dade City. This can help gather evidence and build your compensation case.
If your injuries are serious and your accident happened due to another person’s negligence, you might be eligible to seek compensation past your PIP claim from the at-fault party’s insurance. You must file a claim with the other driver’s insurance or, if the other driver is uninsured or left the scene of the accident, you may proceed by filing a claim with your own uninsured or underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage.
Victims resolve most car insurance claims by reaching a settlement agreement with the at-fault party’s insurance company. When you settle a case, it means that you agree to release the other party from liability in return for a specified amount of compensation. Reaching a fair settlement offer can be a long, complicated process, so it’s in your best interest to retain an attorney even if you are fairly certain that you will settle your case out of court.
If the insurance company refuses to make a fair settlement offer, you will need to seek compensation by filing a lawsuit in the appropriate court. If your case proceeds to court, your attorney will present evidence that indicates that the other party is liable for your injuries, and the other party will have an opportunity to refute that evidence. After the trial, a judge or jury will determine whether the other party was at fault and, if so, how much compensation the other party owes you. Importantly, a case can still settle after you file a lawsuit or begin a trial.
In some cases, a business may be liable for your injuries after a preventable accident. Under a legal doctrine known as respondeat superior, injured victims can hold businesses vicariously liable for the negligent acts of their employees – provided that the negligent act occurred within the course and scope of the employee’s employment.
For example, if a person whose duties included delivering merchandise in a truck got into an accident while making a delivery, the victim would likely be able to hold the driver’s employer liable for his or her injuries. On the other hand, if the accident occurred when the delivery driver was stopping for lunch while off the clock, it’s likely that the driver would bear liability for the accident.
Some other examples of accidents for which a business may be liable include:
Importantly, respondeat superior does not make employers liable for the tortious acts of their independent contractors. As a result, many employers attempt to limit their liability by classifying workers as independent contractors whenever possible. After an accident, a business may try and deny liability by arguing that the at-fault party was an independent contractor, not an employee – but their classification of their workers is not the last word.
When determining whether a worker is an employee or independent contractor, courts consider the nature of the work and the degree of control exercised by the employer. For this reason, you should never give up on holding a business accountable for your accident because they say that the at-fault party was an independent contractor. Instead, you should speak to an attorney who can determine whether you have a case.
After an accident, many people wonder whether they can save a few dollars by handling their injury case on their own. The fact is that insurance companies actively try to pay out as little as possible on every claim they receive and will gladly take advantage of people who forgo retaining legal counsel.
There are many tactics that insurance companies can use to reduce the amount of money they pay you, and without the assistance of a lawyer, it’s hard to know how much your case is worth to begin with.
Some of the ways that an insurance company may try to minimize your settlement include:
Fortunately, when you retain a lawyer familiar with settling personal injury cases, he or she will interact with the insurance company on your behalf and protect your rights.
Whether you should accept a settlement offer after an accident depends on the amount of the offer and the strength of your case. For example, if the insurance company makes an offer that is close to what you believe your actual losses are, but there are problems with your case that make it less than a slam dunk, it may be a good idea to take it.
On the other hand, if you have a strong case and the insurance company is simply refusing to make a fair offer, you may want to take your chances at trial. Of course, the risk of going to trial is losing and walking away with nothing. While your lawyer cannot decide to settle for you, he or she can advise you regarding the strength of your case and how much you can expect to recover, helping you inform your decision as to whether to settle.
If your case does go to trial, it is up to you as to whether you want to testify. In many cases, however, you will need to testify about your accident to provide evidence of the defendant’s negligence. If you do choose to testify at trial, your lawyer will help you prepare for taking the stand and walk you through the process. In addition, your attorney can prepare you for the questions you may face on cross-examination from the defendant’s attorneys.
When you think about your pile of medical bills and other unpaid expenses since you cannot work, the last thing you need is to pay costly fees to hire a personal injury attorney. If injury law firms charged high hourly fees like other types of law practices, most injury victims would not be able to afford to hire legal representation.
This is why our Dade City personal injury attorneys take cases on a contingency fee basis.
Contingency fees in a personal injury case are a percentage of your settlement or award, and we will review our percentages before signing a representation agreement, so there are never any surprises.
Because you do not have to pay anything to hire us, anyone can afford to hire our personal injury attorneys to get the help they need throughout the financial recovery process. You have nothing to lose by reaching out and discussing a potential case with Nicoletti Walker Accident Injury Lawyers.
It is vital to work with an experienced Dade City personal injury lawyer who knows how to handle cases involving your type of accident and injuries.
The Dade City personal injury lawyers at Nicoletti Walker Accident Injury Lawyers have helped many Florida injury victims get the compensation they deserve. Call (727) 845-5972 or write to us using our confidential contact page for your free consultation. We will fight hard to protect your right to compensation. Don’t delay—the sooner you have an attorney fighting on your side, the better protected your legal rights will be.
“The Nicoletti Law firm is by far the best law firm for your needs. The entire firm treats you as family and are there for you when needed the most. Above all else they will give you straight honest answers and guide you to the best outcome for your case. Highly recommend this firm.”
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DADE CITY OFFICE LOCATION
37751 Meridian Ave.
Dade City 33525