If you or a loved one were injured in an accident here in Odessa, you have important legal rights that must be protected. The experienced Odessa personal injury lawyers at Nicoletti Walker Accident Injury Lawyers are here to help. We fight hard for accident victims and helped many injured Floridians get the compensation entitled to them.Learn more about dangerous spots here in Odessa, the types of accidents that lead to personal injuries, the types of injuries that are common in these accidents, and how a personal injury claim works.
Historically, Odessa was a rural community of ranches and horse properties. However, Tampa’s suburban sprawl has caused massive growth in our community, with our population more than doubling between the 2000 and 2010 census. This explosive growth meant more suburbs, more businesses, more jobs, and more traffic, all of which are key components supporting the infrastructure of any growing community. The growth also means an increase in accidents and injuries.
Odessa has many recreational activities for outdoor enthusiasts. The Suncoast Trail provides biking paths, and the Lutz Lake Fern Trailhead is the starting point for many hiking enthusiasts. The Lake Rogers Park and Brooker Creek Headwaters Nature Preserve offer scenic options to those who would like to enjoy the outdoors at a slower pace.
It is good to enjoy our natural beauty here in Odessa, but recreation can lead to injuries. Biking accidents, boating accidents, and other recreational accidents can lead to painful injuries. If you are a victim of such an accident, it is imperative to consult with your lawyer to ensure your rights are protected.
Auto accidents are one of the most common sources of personal injuries in the United States. Here in Florida, thousands of people are killed every year in auto accidents. It is not just drivers and passengers who are at risk of death on the road, however.
Orlando Weekly reports that Florida had the highest number of bicycle deaths in the United States in one recent year. That year, 783 cyclists died in the United States, and 125 of them (or 16 percent) were here in Florida.
The figures are not much better for pedestrians. According to the Miami Herald, nine of the twenty deadliest cities for pedestrians in the United States are right here in Florida.
While fatalities among motor vehicle occupants in the United States actually decreased over the last decade or so, the total number of pedestrian deaths across the country increased by a whopping 35.7 percent in that same time.
Motor vehicle accidents are not the only way a person can sustain injuries in Odessa. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 332 workers sustained fatal occupational injuries here in Florida in a single year, which is an average of almost one per day.
The deaths were largely the result of transportation accidents, as well as slips, trips, and falls. Together, these two categories accounted for sixty percent of the fatal occupational injuries in Florida that year. The private construction sector accounted for 101 injuries that year—nearly a third of the total. Construction consistently rates as one of the most (if not the most) dangerous industries to work in across the country.
Personal injuries can also result from inadequate medical care. The term medical malpractice refers to negligence on the part of a healthcare provider. Every year, thousands of innocent patients suffer severe injuries and death as a result of medical errors. Poor medical care also takes the form of nursing home abuse and neglect.
Such abuse is a particular problem here in Florida because our state is a popular retirement destination. As our population ages, it is more important than ever to protect our elderly neighbors and loved ones from inadequate medical care.
Every accident is different. Different victims can sustain different types of injuries in the same accident, and the recovery time for victims who sustain the same injuries differs too. A negligent defendant is responsible for compensating you for your injuries, making it very important to hire an Odessa personal injury attorney who understands the specific types of injuries that you have sustained.
What follows are some of the most common injuries our lawyers see among injury victims.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, there were approximately 2.87 million traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) in the United States in one recent year (including nearly a million children). Such a high number of injuries resulted in billions of dollars’ worth of medical care, lost wages, decreased productivity, and other expenses. More than fifty thousand victims died of a TBI in that single year.
Head injuries are among the most dangerous of all accident injuries since brain damage can affect even your most basic bodily functions, such as breathing and the regulation of your heart. Even minor brain injuries can leave lasting damage. Many head trauma victims cannot mentally operate as they did before the accident or work at the same level. Some victims never return to work at all. The most severe cases of brain damage can leave the victim in a coma or even dead.
Injuries to the spinal cord can also cause serious damage. Even if the victim survives a spinal injury, they could be left paralyzed. The higher the injury on the spinal cord, the more paralysis will affect parts of the body. High spinal cord injuries can result in a loss of use of all four limbs.
Even if the spinal cord itself is not injured, damage to the vertebrae endangers the entire spinal cord. For example, bone fragments can cause serious damage to the spinal cord. Damage to the soft tissues of the spine, such as the discs between the vertebrae, can be extremely painful.
Nerve damage is also incredibly painful. It can impair your sensation of touch or the ability to move various parts of your body. These sensory and motor neurons are critical to almost every aspect of daily life. Injury victims who suffer permanent nerve damage might experience limited mobility or a dangerous lack of sensation. They will also endure years of pain and frustrating rehabilitative services.
There are many ways to injure the heart. Serious accidents, for instance, might deprive the cardiac muscle of oxygen, leading to a heart attack. Heart attacks can lead to death or damage the heart. Even a simple bruise can cause complications in the long-term health of your heart.
Like the heart, the injuries you sustain in an accident can impair your lungs. Your lung might collapse or become clogged by a blot clot. You might receive inhalation injuries from smoke. Secondary injuries, such as a broken rib, can cause more damage to your lungs. All of these injuries can lead to long-term complications involving your ability to breathe.
An accident can also damage other internal organs. The liver and kidneys perform vital functions and, if injuries to them are left untreated, a patient could eventually die. Surgeons may entirely remove organs like the spleen, appendix, or gallbladder. Even bleeding can become a life-threatening condition if it is left untreated. See a doctor as soon as possible after an accident.
Damage to the muscles, tendons, and ligaments can be incredibly painful. Whiplash is a common injury after an auto accident. While this condition usually resolves on its own after a few days, the injury can be quite painful. Insurance companies are notorious for downplaying the value of soft tissue injuries.
Never take legal advice from an insurance company, because they don’t have your best interest in mind. Instead, consult your own personal injury lawyer to get a fair assessment of what your injuries are really worth.
Personal injury claims are complex, involving insurance regulations, contractual obligations, confusing paperwork, and a claims adjuster who is actively trying to lower the value of your claim. You don’t have to go through this process alone. A personal injury lawyer will fight for you and guide you through every step of the process.
While every personal injury claim is different, it is helpful to understand how the basic process works. What follows are the steps in a typical personal injury case.
The first step is to open a claim with the defendant’s insurance company. You might not know who the defendant is or should be, but an experienced lawyer will know how to find all parties potentially legally responsible (liable) for your injuries and pursue compensation from them.
When you open a claim, the insurance company will usually request a recorded statement from you about how the accident happened. Never agree to this request without talking to your personal injury lawyer first. Your attorney will be present when you make the recorded statement and prevent you from saying anything that could accidentally hurt your case.
In some accident cases, the at-fault party is clear, and the insurance company will accept liability very quickly (this is often the case with rear-end accidents). Other times, the insurance company will deny that their client was at fault, instead asserting that a different person or entity is responsible for your injuries. They might even try to blame you. Your attorney will know how best to stop these tactics.
Sometimes, it takes expert witnesses (like an accident reconstructionist) to determine what exactly happened in an accident. Some injury victims have to take their case to trial just to prove it was, in fact, the defendant’s fault.
A defendant who is at fault for an accident has a legal obligation to compensate victims of that accident for their injuries and losses. The defendant’s insurance company has a contractual obligation to pay claims (up to the limits of the defendant’s policy coverage), meaning the insurance company has the opportunity to decide what your claim is worth. Remember, the insurance company is on the defendant’s side, not yours.
Never take advice from them about how much your claim is really worth or whether you can win at trial. Your attorney can tell you the worth of your claim based on similar claims and jury verdicts.
Your attorney will handle negotiations with the insurance company. If they can secure a fair settlement offer, your case will come to a resolution without going to trial. If the insurance company refuses to make a reasonable settlement offer, you might have to file a lawsuit to get the compensation you deserve.
Sometimes, the mere act of filing a lawsuit is enough to get the insurance company to raise its offer. Other times, your attorney must litigate the case all the way through trial. Whatever happens, your attorney will prepare you for every step in the process.
The personal injury claims process can be overwhelming for anyone. After an accident, you should focus on recovering from your injuries, not trying to learn how personal injuries claims work, or fighting the insurance company and their army of lawyers.
At Nicoletti Walker Accident Injury Lawyers, our experienced Odessa personal injury lawyers have helped many Florida injury victims get the compensation they deserve. We will handle all the paperwork so you can focus on your recovery, knowing that professionals are protecting your legal rights. Call (727) 845-5972 or contact us online for your free consultation.
The Odessa 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.
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