Tampa Personal Injury Attorneys
Fighting for Victims of Negligence in Florida
No matter how careful you are, accidents will still happen because of another person’s mistake. If you were seriously injured by the act of another person or business’s negligence, contact our experienced Tampa Personal Injury Attorneys to fight for the full compensation you are owed. We offer free consultations.
The Tampa Personal Injury Attorneys at Morgenstern & Herd, P.A. aggressively defend clients who are injured or have lost a loved one due to the reckless, negligent, or unsafe actions of a doctor, driver, property owner, or manufacturer.
Attorney Denny Morgenstern is a compassionate, experienced, and knowledgeable advocate for injured clients in the Tampa area. After an injury or accident, you and your family will need help. Depending on the type of injury, this might involve short-term treatment, long-term, or permanent medical care.
Our Tampa Personal Injury Attorneys will help you get past the accident and begin your recovery. We never back down from a fight and relentlessly pursues the compensation you need to cover:
Our Tampa Personal Injury Attorneys perform an extensive investigation to preserve evidence and provide the expert witnesses necessary to win your case. Our firm is ready to take on the insurance companies and fully litigate your interests if we are not able to resolve your personal injury matter out of court.
Morgenstern & Herd, PA can assist you in many personal injury matters, including:
Frequently Asked Questions About Personal Injury Claims
How Long Do You Have to File a Personal Injury Claim?
- For most personal injury claims, you have four years from the date of the event within which to pursue a claim. There are exceptions to that. For example, if you are injured in a motor vehicle accident or a collision and the adverse driver has no coverage but you have underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage, you have five years to bring that claim against your insurance company because that’s a contractual claim. Medical malpractice claims, which are also considered personal injury claims, there’s a two-year statute of limitations from the time that you knew or reasonably should have known. The same in product liability; claims are four years.
How Do You Select the Right Tampa Personal Injury Attorneys?
- The first thing I would do is look to that person’s experience in the area that you expect the case to be in. For example, if it’s a motor vehicle case, you want to have an attorney that has handled motor vehicle accidents and has been to trial trying motor vehicle accident cases.You want a firm that’s large enough that they can adequately fund your case if you need an expert. For example, either on the liability end, some engineer to talk about why this accident and this injury occurred, and also on the medical end to bring your doctors to trial or to take their depositions by videotape to be presented to the jury at trial. These experts, both mechanical or engineering and medical, are very expensive, so the law firm has to be able to have the financial wherewithal, not just the experience, to support the bills that are going to be occurred in getting your case, if needed, to trial.You need to pick out an attorney with a temperament personality that you can get along with because it’s very important that the attorney and the client are able to communicate with another and to work with one another. This is because this is a fairly involved and sometimes long procedure from the time of an accident until the time that a trial, if it’s needed, is concluded.You’re really looking for someone with experience – sometimes you need to look at their undergraduate degree. If this is going to be an area where there’s an engineering issue, you may want someone that has an engineering undergraduate degree. You also need to make sure that the law firm is adequately funded, that they can take these cases to trial. You want to know about whether or not they do go to trial. Many Tampa Personal Injury Attorneys will advertise and hold themselves out as trial lawyers and they never go to trial. They settle everything. If you get with a law firm that settles everything, over time the insurance companies know who these law firms are, and they throw them crumbs knowing that they are not the hammer that will take them to trial. You need to go with a law firm that has the ability, and the history, and the financial wherewithal to take your case to trial in case it needs to be tried.
How are Personal Injury Cases Valued?
- There are a number of factors that impact the value of your personal injury case: first, the injury themselves, secondly, the manner in which the injury occurred, and the evaluation of the fault of the person who injured you. Additionally, insurance companies and defendants look at the background of the claimant, whether or not you’ve had felonies in the past, whether or not you’ve had past injuries.
Can Pre-Existing Condition Affect My Case?
- Pre-existing conditions can impact your personal injury case. We call that the eggshell plaintiff. If you are injured and those injuries are made no worse, then you probably don’t have an injury claim, but in most cases, pre-existing injuries can be made much worse so that you could recover for an exacerbation of your pre-existing injury.
What Happens During a Personal Injury Case?
Once you’re involved in your accident and you’re injured, you’re going to get medical treatment, and at some point in time, your physician will likely say you have reached maximum medical improvement. In other words, from the time of the accident, you were improving, and all at once you plateaued. You’re not getting any worse, you’re not getting any better.
It’s usually at that time that a claim package will be put together called a settlement demand letter. The attorney will put together a narrative that explains usually to the insurance company for the at fault party what happened in the accident, what damages you suffered both in terms of your injury, in terms of its effect on you – the medical bills, the wage loss, your non-economic damages – it’ll talk about the property damage of the vehicles that were involved. Generally, that settlement demand letter will go out to the at fault party’s insurance company with a deadline, usually 30 days. You’re asking them to amicably resolve the case within that 30-day period. If for whatever reason, you’re not able to amicably resolve it – let’s say that the insurance company says we just don’t see the liability here; we don’t think our guy’s at fault, or they say we don’t think your person’s injured as badly as his doctors say they are.
Insurance companies generally fight these cases in three ways. The first way is they say the accident wasn’t our fault. The second way they defend it is they say well, the accident may have been our fault to some extent or maybe totally, but the impact from the accident wasn’t great enough that anybody could’ve been injured. The third way they defend these cases is they say well, the accident might’ve been our fault, maybe totally our fault, the impact was great enough that someone could’ve been injured, but your client’s injuries are pre-existing; they’re from the other two accidents they had from another slip and fall case, or they’re what we call degenerative based on their age. In other words, it’s from wear and tear on their body, not from the trauma from this accident.
Generally, that’s how insurance companies defend these cases, so if you cannot amicably resolve your case for whatever reason, then suit has to be filed. Once suit is filed, generally a complaint is filed with the court, service is made on the at fault party, and their insurance company retains an attorney and comes in and defends them. They have to file what’s called an answer, in other words, either admit or deny your allegations in the complaint, and they file an affirmative defense, things like you weren’t wearing your seatbelt, you were at fault for the accident yourself, at least wholly or in part, that you had pre-existing conditions. Your attorney will answer those affirmative defenses, and the case at that point in time will be at issue.
At that point in time, the case moves into what we call discovery, where they can ask you questions called interrogatories. You have to answer them. They can ask for documents in what’s called a request to produce. They can ask for medical records, medical bills, photographs of the vehicles and things like that. They can also take your deposition and they can ask you to be examined by a doctor of their choosing in what’s called a compulsory medical examination.
After all this discovery is done, you then will go to a mediation to try and resolve your case amicably, and if your case cannot be resolved amicably, then your case is placed on a trial list, and it’s tried.
One of the things that’s important to remember in this whole process is generally the plaintiff’s attorney is paid based on results, while the defense attorney is paid by the amount of time that he puts into the case, so sometimes we hear that the mantra of the defense lawyer is delay, delay, delay. Depending on the complexity of your case, you’re probably looking at a minimum of a year before the case actually reaches trial. Keep in mind, if you go to trial and you get a good result, maybe a result that the at fault party’s insurance company thinks is too good, they can always take an appeal, and that can tie your case up for at least two years into the future. It’s a very difficult time question to ask how long will it take for my claim to reach fruition.
Do I Have Recourse if My Child Was Injured at School?
In Florida, school districts as well as municipalities have sovereign immunity, and sovereign immunity has been waived up to a certain limit in Florida. For example, if there is an automobile accident and the school district is deemed to be at fault, the limits that an individual can recover is $200,000 per person, $300,000 per accident. If the injuries are greater or worth more, then there is a process that an injured person can file a claims bill with the legislature in Tallahassee.
In order to be successful in prosecuting such a claim, we need to prove there was fault on the part of the school district, an agent, an employee or a servant of the school district. We need to do an investigation to find out the names of individuals that were on the bus or in the area of the injury at school. There’s a notice requirement that has to be filed with the municipality under Florida statute as a prerequisite to filing a claim against the municipality or the school district.
When will I Receive Compensation from My Claim?
- There are a number of factors that can affect the length of your lawsuit. The strength of liability is a factor that can cause your lawsuit or your claim to take less time. If your injuries are severe and it takes you longer to recover, that’s going to affect the time period within which your claim can be resolved. Also, a number of factors in the lawsuit itself depending on what happens during the litigation. We have a Supreme Court guideline where the Supreme Court set up a timetable that they would like for cases to be resolved in once lawsuit is filed. That’s 18 months, but the dockets are way more backed up than that, so very few cases can be resolved in 18 months to 2 years from the time that the litigation begins.
Tampa Personal Injury Attorneys Fighting For Your Full Recovery
If You Were Seriously Injured by a negligent property owner or business. Contact our Experienced Tampa Personal Injury Attorneys to fight for you.
Morgenstern and Herd have achieved an AV® Preeminent™ Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review RatingSM—a distinction signifying the highest quality legal work, professionalism, and ethical standards.