Port St. Lucie
Port St. Lucie is part of a rapidly growing metropolitan area that is home to nearly half a million Floridians. In addition to the locals, a steady stream of tourists vacation in or travel through St. Lucie County. Highway accidents and slip and falls are not uncommon, sometimes resulting in devastating harm. The injury attorneys at Donaldson & Weston have represented Port St. Lucie residents for many years, and we will be glad to advise you of your legal rights and options.Bringing a Negligence Claim to Pursue Compensation
The nature and causes of motor vehicle collisions can vary significantly, but some of the most common forms of driver negligence include exceeding the posted speed limit, driving too fast for the weather or traffic conditions, failing to signal, ignoring traffic control devices like red lights and stop signs, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and distracted driving.
Fortunately for people injured in Florida car accidents, there is usually legal recourse when a motorist acts in a careless or reckless manner. Under a legal theory known as negligence, a person who is hurt because another person or entity failed to use the appropriate precautions can potentially seek damages, such as medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and property damage, from the party that was responsible. Proving a negligence case involves four stages. These are whether a duty of care was owed to the plaintiff by the defendant, whether the duty was breached, whether the victim was harmed as a direct result, and whether the plaintiff incurred actual damages. A breach of duty consists of any action or inaction that falls short of the applicable standard of care.
Thereafter, the defendant may be able to seek a reduction in the damages sought by the plaintiff if he or she can prove that the plaintiff was also negligent. This may arise in car accident cases, premises liability actions, wrongful death lawsuits, and other injury cases. An allegation of comparative fault aims to reduce the plaintiff’s ultimate damages award in proportion to his or her degree of contribution to the accident. For example, if the jury finds that the defendant was 90% at fault because he disregarded a stop sign but finds that the plaintiff was 10% at fault because she was speeding, the plaintiff can potentially recover up to 90% of her damages.
Other complications can arise in accident cases, such as when a defendant does not have liability insurance or does not have sufficient insurance to cover the plaintiff’s damages. In such cases, the plaintiff may bring suit against his or her own uninsured/underinsured (UM) carrier in order to make a claim for benefits under the policy. It is important that every possible avenue of recovery be explored and that all procedural requirements (such as the statute of limitations, the statute of repose if applicable, and notice requirements) be met in order to ensure that the plaintiff’s case can proceed through the court system.Consult an Attorney after an Accident in the Port St. Lucie Area
If your family has been affected by an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you should not hesitate to seek legal advice about the possibility of pursuing damages against the responsible party. Enlisting an experienced car accident lawyer can help people in Port St. Lucie and the surrounding cities focus on the recovery process as their legal rights are being asserted. Call Donaldson & Weston at (772) 266-5555 or contact us online for a free consultation.