Lewis & Castagliola
40+ years of personal
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St Petersburg Personal Injury Attorneys

Unexpected accidents that result in severe personal injuries are financially devastating and can prevent you from returning to your normal way of living. In 2019 alone, 48.3 million injuries cost around $1,097 billion in expenses. When someone else is the cause of your injuries and can be held responsible, you can seek compensation for your losses with the help of a personal injury lawyer. Attorneys can help you obtain damages and get the maximum settlement amount to help you recover sooner. 

You don’t have to struggle financially after your personal injury, where medical debt and wage loss could lead to financial disaster. Get the help of a dedicated law firm that can get you back on track—contact LCPA Law for a free consultation.

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The most common personal injuries are car accident claims, especially in the state of Florida. However, they are not the only personal injuries that regularly happen in St. Petersburg and nationwide.

Motor Vehicle Accidents

On the highway, collisions between cars, trucks, and motorcycles are not uncommon and are a constant source of distress. Motor vehicle accidents can be life-threatening and can result in serious personal injuries. Here are some of the reasons accidents occur:

  • Distracted driving such as texting and talking to others
  • Abuse of alcohol or illicit drugs
  • Road rage
  • Improper lane changes
  • Speeding
  • Ignoring red lights and stop signs
  • Falling asleep at the wheel

When the other driver is at fault for your accident, their insurance company should provide a settlement.

Medical Malpractice

The mistakes made by doctors, nurses, and other healthcare practitioners can result in long-term consequences for their patients. While costly, medical malpractice is quite a common occurrence. Florida is among the states with the highest medical malpractice claims and payment according to the National Practitioner Data Bank. Healthcare professionals can make any of the following errors:

  • Incorrect diagnosis
  • Delayed diagnosis or improper follow up after diagnosis
  • Anesthesia malfunctions
  • Wrong prescription medicine
  • Incorrect dosage of medication
  • Medical tests not followed up on
  • Improper care
  • Wrong surgery
  • Incorrect surgery location
  • Surgery implements left inside the patient

Many other forms of medical malpractice can occur, and you can consult with your St. Petersburg personal injury lawyer to learn whether you have experienced a case of malpractice.

Premises Liability

When you are on another’s property and are injured, the premises owner can be held liable for your personal injury. This is when the premises owner gave you no warning there was a hazard or was severely negligent in maintaining their property. Slip and fall accidents are the most common type of premises liability for property owners. These accidents often result in bruises, broken bones, cuts, brain trauma, back pain, and more. Premises liability injuries can include some of the following accidents:

  • Falling on a slippery surface
  • Tripping on uneven surfaces
  • Falling through broken floorboards
  • Getting harmed by exposed wiring
  • Stepping on construction debris such as nails or broken glass
  • Tripping on debris pile up such as leaves and garbage

There are a variety of ways you can receive a personal injury on someone else’s property. If the premises owner has no warning signs and the dangerous condition isn’t easily noticed or avoidable, your personal injury attorney can seek a settlement on your behalf.

Dog Bites

When a dog owner doesn’t properly manage their animal or provide preventable measures to keep you safe, then you can seek the help of a personal injury lawyer to represent your case. This can happen for several reasons:

  • The dog is not leashed, or the leash broke
  • The gate where the dog is held was left open
  • The dog escaped from the yard
  • The dog attacked when you came too close

Dog bites can lead to muscle tears, broken bones, infections, and severe pain. After a dog bite, get medical help and work with personal injury attorneys to help you get a settlement.

Product Liability

When you purchase a product and it causes a personal injury, the manufacturer can be held liable for your damages. Product liability often occurs when the product has malfunctioned and harmed you in some way. For example:

  • The product’s design, formula, or preparation resulted in injuries
  • Errors in the assembly, construction, or manufacture of the product
  • The product had poor instruction, warning, or labeling
  • Incorrect packaging
  • Misleading marketing of the product

If you experienced a personal injury because of a product or service you purchased, you should seek the help of St. Petersburg attorneys to direct you on the next steps.

Boat Accidents

In Florida, boat rides are a popular recreational activity that sometime results in personal injuries. Boat accidents leave the owner of the boat or boat charter company liable for any damages caused to personal injury victims. This can be caused by capsizing, boats colliding with one another, fires, fuel explosions, collision with fixed objects, and more. A personal injury can include any of the following:

  • Drowning
  • Slip and fall injuries on the boat
  • Property damage
  • Wrongful death
  • Falling overboard

There are additional accidents that can occur due to a boat crash, and you can get guidance about what you can claim in a settlement with the help of a personal injury lawyer.

In order for your St. Petersburg personal injury lawyer to get compensation for you, they have to prove that the other party can be held liable for your damages. This requires evidence that fulfills the four tenets of negligence: duty, breach of duty, causation, harm.

Duty of Care

Attorneys seek to discover how the other party was unable to provide you a duty of care that they must uphold. This is the expectation that everyone must behave responsibly and reasonably. When someone is grossly negligent with disregard for your personal wellbeing, this can result in them causing injury to you.

Breach of Duty

When the other party behaves in a neglectful way that could have been avoided and are unable to provide the duty you are owed, this is a breach of duty. For example, when a doctor misdiagnoses you with rosacea when you have skin cancer, this is a breach of duty.

Causation Due to Negligence

If the actions of the other party directly lead to an accident, then this means that they can be held liable for negligence. An example is when a truck driver fails to take obligatory scheduled breaks, which results in them falling asleep while driving. This causes an accident that can be directly connected to negligence because they broke the rules.

The Negligence Causes Harm

When you suffer losses due to the breach of duty, then you have a personal injury case. If you suffered no damages, then you cannot seek compensation from the other party. For example, when a dog bites you but does not injure you, then you cannot seek a settlement from the dog owner.

When you get into a personal injury accident, you should begin collecting information and evidence of your accident. Your personal injury lawyer will use all of the data you documented to make a strong claim for compensation.

Take Pictures of Your Personal Injury

After your accident, take pictures of where you got hurt, what may have caused it, as well as your injuries. For example, if you got cut due to exposed metal jutting out of a wall, take pictures of it. Show where it is located and how difficult it was for you to spot it. Photographs are solid evidence of the circumstances that caused your accident.

Get Medical Help

You should see a doctor to get the medical treatment you need. They can perform imaging scans and reveal any soft tissue injuries or hairline fractures you received. This prevents you from discovering injuries much later, as this can complicate your claim to compensation or make others accuse you of fraud. The sooner you know what your personal injuries are, the more accurate your settlement amount will be. All of your medical bills can be included in the settlement.

Collect Information from Witnesses

If there are witnesses present, get their contact information so that you can contact them later. Witnesses are helpful because they can give their account of what happened. If you wind up having to file a lawsuit, witnesses can provide a testimony in person.

Get the Contact Information from the Other Party

You will need to collect the contact information of the other party involved in the accident. This is so that you don’t have to try and hunt them down at a later date. With their information on hand, your personal injury attorney can contact them and make the process of negotiating a settlement more efficient.

Speak With a St. Petersburg Personal Injury Attorney

Once you have all the essential information gathered, you can connect with a personal injury lawyer so they can provide further guidance. If there were any areas you neglected to report on after you were injured, your attorney can help fill in the gaps. St. Petersburg attorneys are very knowledgeable about how personal injuries are calculated and how they can help you get compensation for your damages.

St. Petersburg attorneys know how to deal with insurance companies, commercial businesses, and other liable parties who are to blame for your personal injury. It can be very difficult to speak with the person responsible for your accident, however, attorneys can handle your settlement claim for you.

Attorneys Draft Documents

You can depend on your attorney to manage all of the documentation of your personal injury claim and keep it free of errors. They will outline in detail all of your expenses, damages, and grievances in an orderly and organized way. This information will be promptly provided to the other parties, so they are made aware of the full extent of your personal injury.

They Get Additional Supportive Evidence

Attorneys are experienced investigators and will examine all of the evidence you provided and also seek more. They may see other angles that they can use to support your claim, and can find additional evidence on your behalf. For example, if you fell on a property where there are cameras monitoring the business, they can request the footage and examine the video. Attorneys can request background history on other parties, investigate the certification of a company, and dig deep on information that you normally wouldn’t have access to.

Attorneys are Smart Negotiators

Your attorney will use your evidence to show that your claim for a settlement is legitimate. They can show that the other party is liable for your personal injury. If the other party doesn’t agree to negotiation, you can file a lawsuit. This is unlikely and often avoided because a trial is expensive, time-consuming, and unpredictable.

They Estimate Your Claim

You cannot calculate your personal injury alone since you may overestimate or underestimate the total amount you are due. Your attorney will use industry standards to calculate your economic and non-economic damages. Settlements commonly include the following:

Economic Damages

Your economic damages are expenses that can be estimated numerically and often are documented in the form of a receipt. For example, your medical bills will be one of the major sources of your economic damages. This includes surgery, prescription medicine, medical tests, therapy, medical scans, and more. You should also include any property damage and any financial loss. Your income loss will also be added because you are losing money by not being able to work full-time. Economic damages are ongoing, so future clinic visits and projected wage loss should be included.

Non-economic Damages

Your pain and suffering is a form of non-economic damages, as are emotional problems such as depression, anxiety, shame, guilt, and other severe emotional distress. If you are feeling discomfort, physical suffering, or other turmoil, this should be included in your settlement.

Attorneys Will Represent You Professionally

In addition to representation to other parties, your attorney will represent you in court. They present your case in a logical and factual way that provides all the accurate proof of how your injury was caused.

Get Additional Help From a St. Petersburg Lawyer

If you are confused about the circumstances of your personal injury, you can get advice from a St. Petersburg attorney who understands what you are going through. They can investigate your case and identify why the other party can be held liable for your damages. With this information, they can make a strong case and obtain a settlement. Contact LCPA Law for a free consultation.

About Our Practice Areas

In addition to the topics covered under common types of personal injury cases, we also cover the following practice areas.

Family members of someone who is killed via negligence, recklessness, or intent have a right to file a wrongful death lawsuit on the decedent‘s behalf. A wrongful death case can arise from different situations such as:

Under the Florida Wrongful Death Act, the spouse, children (adopted or biological), parents, dependent blood relatives, dependent adopted siblings and children born out of wedlock can file to to receive damages. The types of damages that survivors can claim include funeral and burial costs, medical expenses to treat the decedent before their death, the pain and suffering they endured before their untimely death, loss of financial support, loss of companionship, loss of consortium, loss of parental guidance and other damages.

Uber and Lyft are now available in most cities. Similar to a taxi service, individuals download an app and arrange for a driver to drive them somewhere. What can make these cases tricky is that the drivers for these companies are independent contractors, and there is no uniform insurance that covers all drivers equally or comprehensively. Unless the driver has a commercial auto insurance policy or has purchased a ride-sharing "endorsement" with their policy, their personal car insurance policy may not cover the accident.

However, Uber and Lyft began offering liability insurance to their drivers, which means that you may be able to hold a company financially responsible for your injuries. These types of cases can get complicated very quickly, but Lewis & Castagliola is here to make sense of the law for you and answer any questions you have.

Truck accidents can be caused by truck drivers, the trucking company, the cargo loaders, or the manufacturer of a truck part. Liability will depend on whether or not:

  • The truck driver was drinking, violating the Hours of Service regulations or traffic laws
  • The trucking company did their due diligence to conduct thorough background checks and provide training to drivers
  • The personnel who loaded the cargo did so properly to ensure an even balance of weight and that nothing would slide, break, spill or pose a danger to other drivers
  • A faulty part or truck design was the cause of the accident

A bicycle rider or passenger under 16 years of age must wear a properly fitted and fastened helmet in accordance with state law. However, all bicyclists are encouraged to wear a helmet to prevent serious head injuries. If the bicyclist was not wearing a helmet, then the injuries could be life-threatening. The human body cannot withstand being struck by a vehicle slamming into it. Personal injury cases involving bicycles lead to severe injuries because there is no protection around them like there is for the occupant of a motor vehicle. Spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, broken or crushed bones, severe lacerations, road rash, and internal bleeding are all common injuries following a bicycle accident.

In 2017, there were 839 drunk driving fatalities in Florida, representing 20% of all traffic deaths in the state that year. In Pinellas County in 2018, 3,169 drivers were arrested for driving under the influence. Drunk drivers have difficulty maintaining proper lane position and experience speed, braking, and vigilance problems.

Approximately one in five people who were killed in car crashes in 2019 involving a distracted driver was walking, riding a bike, or otherwise outside of a vehicle. A pedestrian accident occurs anytime a person who is walking, running, hiking, or biking is struck by a motor vehicle. If you were using a crosswalk when you were hit, the liability will most likely fall on the driver. These personal injury cases become complicated if a pedestrian was jaywalking at the time of the accident. Call our office to discuss your situation in more detail and to get legal advice.

You may have noticed the ubiquity of electric scooters being used by people on the street and sidewalks to help them get around town, but with the rise of scooters comes an increased number of scooter accidents. They also present a new challenge to the law since they are not considered motor vehicles, and every county in Florida has its own ordinances outlining the legality of electric scooter use. The question of liability can come up since the manufacturers of scooters recommend wearing a helmet, but they do not provide helmets with scooters, and Florida state law does not require you to wear one if you’re over the age of 16. Contact a personal injury attorney at our firm to discuss your scooter accident.

About Our Lawyers

Our attorneys are Floridians who studied law in the state and care about the community. They are members of the Florida Bar, and Mr. Castagliola is rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubble, a recognition that signifies excellence in the legal profession as reviewed by his peers and former clients. Our clients have described our attorneys as competent, dedicated, knowledgeable, and ideal for anyone in the community to turn to when they have suffered a personal injury.

About the Law Firm

Lewis & Castagliola is based in St. Petersburg and represents clients throughout Florida, including Central Florida on the Gulf Coast. We start by bringing you in for a complimentary case evaluation where we listen to you and review the documents that you bring to us, such as the police report, your medical records, photos or videos from the scene of your accident, and contact information for any witnesses. Upon determining that you have a valid claim, we begin working on your case and leave no stone unturned when we investigate what happened and who caused your accident so that we can establish liability. We believe that communication is a vital right, so we keep you in the loop to let you know the status of your case. Call us now.

Personal Injury

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Civil Litigation

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Business Law

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