What Types of Cases do Personal Injury Lawyers in Tampa and Clearwater Handle?
When people think of personal injury lawyers in Tampa and Clearwater, often an image of a car accident comes to mind. However, personal injury lawyers in Tampa and Clearwater handle many more types of cases than just car accident cases. In the state of Florida, personal injury law falls under the range of law cases called tort law.
Tort law deals with cases involving civil wrongs, such as damages to another’s property, person or rights. Tort laws were written to compensate victims for damages due to the fault or negligence of someone. Because of tort law, an injured person has the right to be compensated for damages he or she has suffered. The word “tort” means “injury” in old English.
The three basic types of torts are
- strict liability,
- intentional, and
Strict liability torts are cases where the defendant is liable regardless of fault. In these types of cases, it doesn’t matter how careful the defendant was or should have been. If the defendant’s actions caused the plaintiff’s injury, then the defendant is liable. In Florida strict liability torts only apply to a few actions. For instance, an owner of a dangerous animal is liable for any injuries they cause. Product manufacturers may be strictly liable for injuries caused by those products. Another example of strict liability is anyone who engages in dangerous activities such as:
- building demolition
- crop dusting
- explosive manufacturing
- or blasting.
In order to prove a case based on strict liability, a personal injury lawyer in Tampa or Clearwater must show four things.
- It was the defendant’s duty to make the activity or product safe
- The defendant did not make the activity or product safe
- This fact caused the plaintiff’s injury
- The plaintiff suffered an injury.
Intentional torts, are intentional acts by a defendant that harmed the plaintiff. Assault and battery are examples of intentional torts. Other examples include:
- false imprisonment or other invalid uses of legal authority
- invasion of privacy
- and defamation.
In an intentional tort case, the personal injury lawyer in Tampa must show that
- the defendant committed the act
- the defendant intended the consequences, or knew what the consequences might be
- the act was largely responsible for the resulting harm or injury.
Negligent tort law has to do with how careful a person was when her or she caused an injury, and also how careful her or she should have been. Most personal injury lawsuits in Florida fall under the category of negligence. An example of a this type of tort is a car accident.
A personal injury lawyer in Tampa must show four things when proving negligence:
- the defendant should have followed a certain standard of conduct or care to shield the plaintiff from injury
- the defendant did not follow that standard of conduct or care
- this action resulted in the plaintiff’s injury
- the plaintiff suffered an injury.
Some Broad Categories of Tort Law Cases Include:
- Car, truck and motorcycle accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Wrongful death
- Nursing home abuse or neglect
- Product liability
- Hurricane insurance claims
- Sinkhole accidents
- Defective medical devices or drugs
Sometimes a product fails so badly that it causes widespread death, injury, or damages, and in these cases, a mass tort can arise. Usually this happens when a company ignores public safety and disastrous consequences from this action result. An example is a medical device or a drug, which is found to cause serious injury or death.
Although most personal injury cases involve car accidents they are not the only types of cases that personal injury lawyers in Tampa and Clearwater handle. Personal injury lawyers can evaluate the unique facts of a your case and determine whether there is enough evidence to prove a tort. If that is the case, then you may be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries. Compensation can include medical bills, lost wages, pain, and suffering.