Florida Personal Injury Lawyer
Many events can unexpectedly occur and pose a threat to a person’s physical or financial health, such as a motor vehicle collision, a fall, or a sudden inability to pay bills. People may feel disconcerted by adversity and unsure of their options for addressing their concerns. If you are faced with a sudden injury or financial crisis, you should speak with an attorney to discuss the steps that you can take to protect your interests and restore your wellbeing. Winter Haven personal injury lawyer Deborah J. Higgins at Higgins Law, LLC has the resources and experience needed to help you develop a strategy for your specific circumstances.
Most accidents are caused by careless conduct, which in legal terms is known as negligence. Thus, people injured in accidents typically pursue damages from the person responsible for the accident via a civil lawsuit asserting a negligence claim. To prove that a defendant should be held liable for negligence, the plaintiff must show that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty to act with reasonable care and that the defendant breached the duty through either certain actions or a failure to act. The plaintiff must then establish that the defendant’s breach was the actual cause of his or her harm and that he or she suffered quantifiable damages.Car Accidents
Many people will be involved in a car accident at some point in their lives, and while some car accidents are relatively insignificant, many collisions cause serious injuries. Car accidents may be caused by dangerous roads or defective vehicles, but most are caused by careless driving. If you were injured in a car accident, our Winter Haven personal injury attorney may be able to help you seek damages from the party that caused the accident. If your claims are successful, you may be awarded the cost of any medical treatment, compensation for lost wages, and damages for the pain and suffering that you experienced due to the accident. If you were married at the time of the accident, your spouse may be able to pursue damages as well.Truck Accidents
Commercial trucks are massive, weighing several tons and often extending over 50 feet. Thus, when commercial trucks are involved in accidents, the injuries are often devastating and, in many cases, fatal. Many truck accidents are caused by a driver’s failure to drive safely by driving too fast for conditions, driving for too many hours without a break, or failing to conduct pre-trip or post-trip inspections to ensure that the truck is in proper working condition. If a victim suffers harm in a trucking accident, he or she may be able to pursue claims against the driver of the truck, and if the driver was working for an employer at the time of the accident, the employer as well.
Motorcycles continue to increase in number on the roads throughout Florida, and as the number of motorcyclists increases, so does the number of motorcycle accidents. Collisions involving motorcycles often occur when other drivers fail to observe motorcyclists and strike them from behind or on the side, or turn left in front of a motorcycle without sufficient clearance. Motorcycle accidents often cause traumatic brain injuries, hemorrhages, fractures, organ damage, and other catastrophic injuries. In some cases, the driver who causes the accident may attempt to shift blame to the motorcyclist to avoid liability. A personal injury attorney in Winter Haven can help motorcyclists counter this tactic.Slip and Fall Accidents
Slippery floors pose a risk of harm to anyone who walks on them, and slip and fall accidents are among the most common causes of injuries in Florida. Slip and fall accidents frequently occur in restaurants, grocery stores, and other businesses where liquid or debris falls on the floor. Whether a person injured in a slip and fall accident can recover compensation from the owner of the property where the fall occurred depends on several factors. These include whether the fall was caused by a dangerous condition, whether the property owner knew or should have known of the condition, and whether the person who fell was legally on the property.Medical Malpractice
Medical professionals are expected to render treatment that meets the applicable standard of care. In other words, they must provide treatment that a competent professional practicing in the same specialty would provide in the same situation. Unfortunately, however, medical care providers do not always comply with this standard. People who are harmed by medical malpractice, such as a misdiagnosis, a surgical error, or a prescription error, can seek damages via a civil lawsuit. Our Winter Haven personal injury lawyer handles medical malpractice claims that involve serious injuries and permanent disabilities.Bankruptcy
Many people have some degree of debt and make monthly payments to their creditors to reduce their debt load. Circumstances such as an illness or job loss can arise, however, and render a person unable to meet their debt obligations. If you are severely struggling to pay your bills, you may be eligible for relief via bankruptcy. Generally, individuals file for either Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which is known as liquidation bankruptcy, or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which is known as reorganization bankruptcy. The type of bankruptcy that is most appropriate for you depends on your overall debt, income, and assets, and whether you have any property that you wish to retain.Consumer Law
People often have debts that they are unable to pay, and while creditors have a right to seek repayment, they are prohibited by law from harassing consumers. State and federal laws prohibit creditors from using deceptive, abusive, or misleading debt collection practices. Among other things, creditors are barred from contacting a person’s employer regarding the person’s debt, unless they have a judgment against the person. They are also barred from discussing the person’s debt with third parties and calling the person outside certain hours without his or her permission. Creditors that violate these laws may be subject to fines and other penalties.Foreclosure Defense
Many people in Florida struggle to make their monthly mortgage payments, and lenders may institute foreclosure proceedings against homeowners. Even if you are faced with foreclosure, however, it does not necessarily mean that you will lose your home. You may be able to negotiate with the lender to obtain a loan modification or a reduction of your principal and avoid the foreclosure process altogether. If you received notice that your lender intends to foreclose upon your home, it is critical to act promptly, since there are strict timelines for when you must take action.Student Loans
It is often not possible to afford the cost of higher learning without assistance. Thus, many people have student loans. While student loans are meant to aid a person in obtaining an education, in some instances, they can become onerous, creating an oppressive and unsustainable burden on the recipient of the loan. If you are struggling to repay student loan debt, there may be options available that will allow you to alleviate or diminish your debt, such as forbearance, deferment, or even cancellation. Depending on the type of student loan, you may be able to seek relief via bankruptcy as well.Estate Planning
Many people delay determining what will happen to their assets when they die until it is too late, but it is prudent for people of all ages to engage in estate planning. Wills, which are the most common estate planning tool, allow people to dictate the terms of how their estate should be distributed in the event of their death. Under Florida law, anyone over the age of 18 who is of sound mind can execute a will. A will must be written and must be signed by the person making the will and by two witnesses. If a person dies without a will, his or her estate will be distributed in accordance with Florida’s intestacy laws.Contact an Experienced Florida Attorney
If you were injured in an accident, wish to seek financial relief via bankruptcy, or need assistance with another legal issue, it is in your best interest to speak with an attorney. Deborah J. Higgins of Higgins Law, LLC prides herself on being an aggressive advocate for her clients, and she will diligently pursue the best result possible under the facts of your case. Attorney Higgins represents people throughout Florida, including in Polk and Orange Counties. You can reach her via the form online or at (863) 325-0343 to set up a confidential and free meeting with a personal injury lawyer in the Winter Haven area, or seek guidance regarding an issue in one of our other practice areas.