The Law Office of Eric Luckman is proud to represent injured victims in the Lake Worth region. As a dedicated personal injury law firm, we can help you move forward after an accident. If you or someone you loved was injured in Lake Worth due to the actions (or inaction) or another, please contact us. We will work with you to ensure you recover the compensation that Florida law provides. Our legal team is available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, to take your call. When you call, you will be able to schedule a free consultation with our attorney to discuss your unique case.
To help you get started moving ahead from your injury, we’ve assembled the following set of answers to some commonly asked questions about the personal injury legal process.
How do I know if I have a personal injury claim?
When you call our firm, you will arrange a free consultation with Attorney Luckman to discuss your unique situation and evaluate whether you have a legal claim.
In general, a personal injury lawsuit is a claim brought by in civil court to seek redress for an injury caused by another individual. This is a separate process than a criminal lawsuit and focuses on compensation for the victim rather than punishment of the wrongdoer. In most cases, the plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit is the injured person. If the injured person is a child or is incapable of bringing the lawsuit due to other factors, a representative can be appointed to act on behalf of the victim. In some cases, loved ones may have additional claims related to the victim’s injuries. If the injuries resulted in death, a wrongful death claim can be brought and is usually filed by the next-of-kin.
Why should I hire a personal injury attorney, especially if I’ve received a settlement offer?
Insurance companies and defense attorneys often make an initial settlement offer hoping that the victim will accept it in an effort to bring a fast resolution to the matter. However, these initial offers are often very low. The other side hopes the victim will accept the offer without consulting an attorney and that they will be able to pay much less than the full amount Florida law allows.
Hiring a personal injury attorney ensures that you have a legal professional on your side. Your attorney is devoted to your best interests. Personal injury attorneys are educated and experienced in the complex legal system. In many cases, claims can still be settled without the need for a trial but having legal counsel ensures the settlement offer is fair. Your attorney will be prepared to bring the case to trial if necessary, a fact that in itself raises settlement figures. Personal injury lawyers are also skilled advocates in the courtroom and your attorney will advocate for you before a judge or jury should a trial be necessary.
At all times, you and your lawyer will act as a team. Your attorney will keep you informed as the case progresses. Your attorney will use his experience to help you make informed decisions but these choices will be made as a team. Importantly, the decision to accept or reject a settlement offer is always yours.
What categories of damages does Florida allow in personal injury suits?
There are three primary categories of damages available in Florida personal injury suits:
- Economic damages are the direct monetary costs associated with your injury. Medical costs, both those already incurred and projected future costs (where appropriate), are a key component of economic damages. This category also includes other financial losses due to the injury such as lost wages or the need for paid household assistance if necessary due to your injuries. In some cases, loved ones may also be able to recover for their own economic costs such as income lost while caring for an injured relative. Damages may also be available to reflect the loss of the victim’s help with things like childcare and household chores.
- Non-economic damages are the legal system’s attempt to compensate victims for the more intangible results of the incident. Damages for “pain and suffering” are a component of non-economic damages. Relatives may also be able to recover non-economic damages to reflect the loss of love and companionship, especially in cases where the victim died as a result of the injuries. Non-economic damages are not available in all cases.
- Punitive damages are intended to punish the defendant rather than to compensate the victim. These damages are usually reserved for cases of extreme, intentional wrongdoing. Most personal injury awards will not include punitive damages but an experienced personal injury attorney will help you decide if they may be appropriate in your circumstances.
The other party was primarily at fault, but my own actions weren’t perfect. Will my personal injury claim be barred if I was also at fault?
Not necessarily. Individuals injured in Florida can still bring a successful personal injury claim even if their own negligence was a factor in their injury. If the case is successful, the amount awarded may be reduced to reflect the victim’s role in the accident.
Is there a time limit for bringing personal injury claims?
In general, yes. Almost all claims are subject to a statute of limitations and even a valid claim will be rejected if not brought in a timely fashion. This rule can feel harsh but it is intended to ensure the accuracy of evidence and to allow for finality.
Personal injury claims can fall under a number of different frameworks but the majority are brought as claims for negligence. In Florida, negligence claims are subject to a four year statute of limitations. In most cases, the four year period begins at the time of the incident that caused the injury. If the injury is not immediately apparent, the four year period begins when the injury would have become apparent to a reasonable individual. Some injury claims may be brought under a different legal framework and may be subject to a shorter limitations period.
Even though the law allows four years for most injury claims, it is very important to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. After an injury, medical care should be your first concern but contacting a personal injury lawyer in a timely manner is always best. Involving legal counsel early ensures evidence is not lost and witness memories are fresh. Your lawyer will be best able to act as your advocate if contacted early. Additionally, some judges and juries may be more suspect of claims that are not brought in a timely fashion.
How much will it cost to hire a personal injury lawyer?
In most cases, victim’s personal injury attorneys operate on a contingency fee. This means that there are no attorney’s fees unless you receive compensation for your injuries. Our team believes in representing victim’s rights and we show this in our service and by tying our own fee to your recovery.
We also provide a free consultation to all potential clients to help them understand how the law applies to their unique case. This consultation also allows you to speak directly with Attorney Luckman to ensure you are comfortable engaging him as your legal guide. Some firms have paralegals or support staff handle consultations, but we believe you should be comfortable with your attorney and should have the benefit of his vast experience before you decide to trust our team with your case.
About The Law Office of Eric Luckman
Attorney Eric Luckman has served Lake Worth and the surrounding region since graduating from the University of Miami School of Law in 1983. Since that time, Attorney Luckman has become a recognized leader in the personal injury arena. He consistently receives an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbel, the highest possible score from a group that surveys other attorneys and judges in the local community. Attorney Luckman is an involved member of the Palm Beach County bar association and has lectured to other legal professionals on personal injury topics.
Attorney Luckman honed his advocacy skills and gained legal experience with other firms before opening The Law Offices of Eric Luckman in 1996. Our firm keeps a narrow focus including personal injury, insurance, attorney malpractice, and condominium/homeowner’s association disputes. This ensures we have experience specifically applicable to our client’s legal needs. We pride ourselves on being skilled victim’s rights advocates.
About Lake Worth:
Home to 37,000 residents, Lake Worth is a coastal city in Palm Beach County that is proud to maintain its Old-Florida charm. The city is home to a vibrant artistic community, six specially designated historical districts, and over 1,000 historical structures. Lake Worth boasts beautiful parks and beaches, including the Lake Worth Lagoon and a wide variety of tropical plant life.