Personal Injury Lawyer
Brevard County accident attorneys on your side
Injuries that are caused by someone else’s negligent behavior may legally entitle the victim to compensation. Depending on the nature of the accident, the victim may receive payment for the resulting injuries by filing an insurance claim or by filing a lawsuit in civil court.
Filing a personal injury claim in Palm Bay
In many cases, the best approach to obtaining the largest amount of compensation for a personal injury accident is to file a claim in civil court. Your Palm Bay personal injury lawyer will help you make informed decisions about your legal options. If filing a civil lawsuit is the best option for you, your attorney will gather all the important facts of your case, compile evidence, and represent you in all pre-trial and civil court proceedings. Florida imposes a four-year statute of limitation on most personal injury cases. By choosing to work with a Florida accident attorney, you will have peace of mind in knowing the attorney will work diligently to file all required legal documents correctly and on time.
Our Palm Bay personal injury lawyers represent accident victims who have been injured by another party’s negligence. Contact us to receive a free, no-obligation case evaluation. We will treat your case with discretion and provide a courteous, professional experience. Let us fight for your right to compensation while you focus on healing!
In Palm Bay, car accidents are the most common type of personal injury. Other examples of personal injury accidents include:
- premises liability accidents
- boat accidents
- dog bites
- product liability accidents
- medical malpractice
Our Experts Get Results
$2.5 MILLION RECOVERY: MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT
Our client was taking a leisurely ride on his motorcycle. He was travelling at 35 MPH, the speed limit in that area. All of a sudden and unexpectedly, a motor vehicle pulled out directly into his path, violating his right of way, and causing the front of his motorcycle to collide with the front right quarter panel of the motor vehicle. Our client was ejected from his bike, and died at the scene moments later.
Attorney Brent Couture reached out the this insurance company to see if they would do the right thing given the obvious negligence on their insured and the unimaginable damages. However, their first reaction was to insinuate that our client was likely speeding and thereby caused or contributed to his own death.
We were successful in finding a witness who was directly behind our client and could attest to the fact that our client was traveling at or below the speed limit and driving in a safe and reasonable manor. Our crash team pulled the data from the motorcycle and from the onboard computer inside the defendant’s vehicle. From this data, we were able to prove that the defendant’s vehicle pulled into the path of our client, giving our client no time to react or avoid the collision. After we presented the insurance company with our findings, they tendered the insurance policy limits of $2.5 Million (combined).
Car accidents In Palm Bay
Across the country, the number of traffic fatalities surged between 2021 and 2022. Florida ranks as the third-most dangerous state in terms of traffic accidents, and the numbers continue to rise. Locals are unlikely to be surprised to learn that their local roads rank among the most dangerous in the U.S. Distracted driving and speeding are among the most common contributors to Florida car accidents.
Palm Bay residents who are involved in car accidents may be able to file a claim for their injuries. A Palm Bay personal injury attorney can help victims and their families navigate the insurance process and, if necessary, the civil court system.
PURSUING COMPENSATION FOR INJURIES
Florida requires drivers to insure their vehicles with a policy that includes Personal Injury Protection (PIP). In the event of an accident, Florida law requires injured drivers to file a PIP claim with their own insurer to receive compensation for their injuries. PIP compensates people who are involved in a covered accident without regard to whether the insured caused or contributed to the accident. Therefore, PIP is referred to as “no-fault” coverage. Because PIP policies are often limited in total payout and only cover a certain percentage of medical costs and lost wages, accident victims who are more severely injured often seek compensation from additional insurance coverages or by filing a personal injury claim in civil court against the party that is legally responsible for the accident.
Beyond PIP, there are other coverages that may compensate accident victims for their injuries. Bodily Injury Liability (BIL) coverage allows the injured party to file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company to receive a payout. The amount of compensation an accident victim receives for a BIL claim would depend on the other party’s policy limits and whether the insurance company considers the insured driver to be at fault. BIL coverage is optional in Florida. Therefore, filing a claim is an option that is only available if the party who caused the accident carries the coverage in his or her insurance policy. Accident victims who carry Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage may file a claim with their own carrier and receive compensation for their injuries caused by the accident. However, Florida does not require drivers to carry Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage. Therefore, the option is only available to accident victims whose policies include this particular type of overage.
Your Palm Bay accident attorney can help you navigate the insurance claims process and determine the best options for pursuing compensation. If filing an insurance claim is the best option, your accident lawyer will represent you in the settlement negotiation process.
Florida truck accidents
Nationwide, the supply chain is facing significant challenges due to the global pandemic. Multi-million dollar improvements at the Intermodal Logistics Center in Winter Haven have spurred economic growth and even more commercial truck traffic on Florida roads. A sudden increase in demand for commercial trucks has left commercial trucking companies and cities and towns scrambling to hire and train drivers to improve road infrastructure to keep up. Overloaded infrastructure increases the risk of accidents. Potholes and other signs of wear and tear on pavement create obstacles that can cause cars and trucks to veer out of their lanes and lose control. Truck drivers who are new to the job may lack the experience they need to navigate challenges posed by ever-changing traffic patterns and congested roads.
Truck drivers are also affected by factors that cause accidents among passenger vehicles. Commercial truck drivers may become distracted when using their phones, eating, or when taking their attention off the road to look at a distraction outside of the vehicle. Unfortunately, some truck drivers drive while intoxicated, which can impair judgment and perception. Long haul truck drivers must also be mindful to avoid drowsy driving. Stressful schedules sometimes make it difficult for truck drivers to get the rest they need.
All of the aforementioned factors may contribute to accidents that cause injuries. Individuals who are injured in a truck accident may be able to file a claim against the driver, his employer, and possibly other third parties, depending on the cause of the accident.
Lawyers for motorcycle accidents in Palm Bay
From its scenic water views to serene nature preserves, Palm Bay is a motorcycle rider’s paradise. Nevertheless, people who ride motorcycles in Florida should be aware of the safety statistics. In 2019, there were approximately 8,895 motorcycle crashes in the Sunshine State. Among those crashes, there were 550 fatalities and 2,072 incapacitating injuries. The open-air exposure motorcyclists enjoy also leaves riders vulnerable on Florida roads. In approximately half of the state’s fatal motorcycle accidents, the victim was not wearing a DOT-compliant helmet. Motorcycle riders in Florida are legally required to wear a helmet. Because Florida also has a comparative negligence law, failure to follow safety mandates may reduce the amount of compensation a motorcycle accident victim may receive for a civil court claim. A Palm Bay personal injury lawyer may be able to help accident victims recover the compensation they deserve even if they were partially at fault for their injuries.
Core Areas of Specialty
Tara C. Couture
Brent A. Couture
Personal injuries in Palm Bay boat accidents
Social distancing mandates have led residents and visitors to find their entertainment outdoors. A surge of amateur boaters has taken to Florida’s waterways in the past two years. In 2021, Florida topped the list of states with the highest number of recreational boating accidents, reporting 804 accidents. California was in a distant second with 493. Among Florida’s counties, Brevard ranked ninth with 26 accidents.
In the 60 accidents across Florida that involved fatalities, drowning was the cause of death in 55 percent. Resulting trauma was the second-most common cause of death, accounting for 27 percent. Other serious injuries that may be caused by boating accidents are:
- severe soft tissue injuries
- traumatic brain injuries
- accidental amputations
Surprisingly, in 64.5 percent of Florida’s fatal boating accidents, the boat operator had at least 100 hours of experience. Unsurprisingly, 83 percent of the boat operators involved in accidents had no prior boater education. Although 60 percent of the victims were able to swim, 73 percent were not wearing lifejackets. Alcohol or drugs were involved in 23 percent of Florida’s fatal boating accidents.
There are several factors that may contribute to a victim’s injuries in a Florida boating accident. Palm Bay boat accident victims should consult a personal injury attorney to determine the best approach to filing a claim for compensation. In boating accident cases in which there is a fatality, the victim’s family should contact a lawyer on the victim’s behalf.
Liability in Florida Jet Ski accidents
Personal watercraft (PWC) or jet skis are included in summer fun for families and tour groups throughout Florida. Florida’s minimum age to legally ride a jet ski is 14. Nevertheless, families sometimes allow children to operate jet skis at even younger ages. Florida also requires jet ski riders to meet a minimum education requirement. To rent a jet ski, the renter must be at least 18 years of age.
Parents may be liable for jet ski accident injuries caused by their children or other children for whom they are responsible. Jet ski rental companies may also be liable if they rent to people who do not meet Florida’s age and minimum education requirement. Rental companies must also maintain the condition of the jet skis they lend out to ensure safe operation.
Under certain circumstances, jet ski rental companies and owners may not be liable for damages in an accident that was beyond the rental company or owner’s control. Some rental agencies require renters to sign waivers which may preclude the renter from filing a claim against the rental company. In some cases, rental companies’ waivers may be void or otherwise not legally enforceable. Therefore, jet ski accident victims should always consult a personal injury attorney in the event of an accident.
Florida pedestrian accidents
Pedestrians are the most vulnerable people on the road. Despite lower traffic volumes due to pandemic-related restrictions, the Governors Highway Safety Association reported the largest-ever annual rise in pedestrian accident deaths. Florida weighed in as the state with the second-highest number of pedestrian fatalities. The GHSA study indicated speeding, drunken and drugged driving, and distracted driving combined with an infrastructure that favors cars were the likely culprits behind the increase. Pedestrians are more likely to be severely injured in vehicle-involved accidents.
Aside from driving while distracted, drunk, or intoxicated, there are other hazards that threaten pedestrian safety. Drivers who roll through stop signs make intersections less predictable for pedestrians. Passing a stopped school bus endangers children and parents who may be crossing the street after a child has exited the bus. Poorly-designed or poorly-maintained intersections also contribute to pedestrian accidents. Confusing road designs can make it more difficult for motorists to know when and where to stop. Intersections that require maintenance may lack functioning pedestrian signals, or crosswalks may be faded and difficult for pedestrians and motorists to see.
Palm Bay bicycle accidents
Bicyclists are also among the most vulnerable on Florida’s roads. The presence of bike lanes and designated traffic signals helps reduce the occurrence of vehicle-involved bicycle accidents. Unfortunately, many roads do not have separate lanes and other accommodations for bike riders. Many drivers have a negative attitude toward bike riders. Some bicyclists do not yield the right of way to drivers when they should. A tense relationship between car drivers and bicyclists makes it difficult for both groups to safely share the road.
Similar to other traffic accidents, intoxicated driving, distracted driving, and speeding can cause bicycle accidents. When a driver engages in negligent behavior, he or she may be liable in the event of a bicycle accident.
Liability in Florida drowning accidents
In drowning accidents, several parties may be liable. The owner or operator of a public pool is responsible for notifying guests of hazards and for maintaining the condition of the pool. Florida pool owners are required by state law to secure outdoor pools with a fence. Parents or other adults may be liable for accidents that occur involving children they are responsible for supervising. Pool manufacturers are liable for accidents caused by product defects. Florida personal injury lawyers do the legwork to determine who may be liable in a drowning accident and to advocate for the victim’s rights.
Lawyer for wrongful death cases
Personal injury cases in which an accident causes the victim’s death are known as wrongful death cases. A wrongful death may occur as a result of a traffic accident, slip and fall accident, boat or jet ski accident, homicide, product defect, or medical malpractice. Some accidents immediately cause the death of the victim while in other cases, the death may occur sometime after the date of the accident. In Florida, only the accident victim’s personal representative may file a claim to recover compensation on the victim’s behalf. The personal representative is typically identified in the decedent’s will. If the decedent did not have a will at the time of death, his or her spouse usually becomes the personal representative. If the victim did not have a spouse at the time of his or her death, the personal representative may be whomever a majority of the surviving heirs agree to appoint to be the representative. A Palm Bay personal injury attorney can help accident victims’ families navigate Florida’s complicated wrongful death statute.
Liability in slip & fall cases
Premise liability accidents are more commonly referred to as “slip and fall” cases. While many of these cases involve a plaintiff slipping on a wet or slippery surface, there are several other types of premise liability cases that do not necessarily involve slipping. Slip and fall cases often happen in grocery stores and restaurants due to the constant presence of liquids. Poorly-maintained concrete or asphalt can crumble and create slip and fall hazards in parking lots and on sidewalks and walkways. In areas that are exposed to outdoor weather conditions, rain or ice accumulation may also create a slipping hazard in colder climates.
A slip and fall accident victim may be able to receive compensation if the business or property owner breached his or her duty to keep the victim safe on the premises at which the accident took place. For example, businesses have a duty to maintain safe conditions for customers who visit the business to conduct transactions.
Liability and Dram Shop laws in Florida DUI accidents
People who cause an accident while under the influence of drugs or alcohol may be required to pay compensation to the accident victim. Assigning fault in DUI accidents is usually very straightforward. Some states have a dram shop law, which allows the injured party to file a claim against the shop or individual who served alcohol to the drunk driver. Florida’s dram shop laws are more restrictive. DUI accident victims may only file a claim against the business that served alcohol to the drunk driver if the drunk driver was under the legal drinking age or has an alcohol dependency. If the drunk driver was consuming alcohol at a private party prior to the accident, the victim may not file a claim against the individual party host.
Filing a claim for spine injuries in Palm Bay
Spine injuries can especially have a lasting effect on the victim’s quality of life. These injuries often cause lingering peripheral pain, tingling, or numbness. Severe spine injuries may limit a person’s mobility and require ongoing physical therapy and medical accommodations in the individual’s daily life. If an individual sustains a spine injury due to someone else’s negligence in an accident, he or she may file a claim to receive compensation for ongoing medical expenses, lost wages, and emotional damages.
Back injuries in Florida accidents
Although back injuries are often not as severe as spine injuries, they can be especially difficult to diagnose. Therefore the accident victim may remain in pain for months or years before finding the most appropriate treatment. In addition to receiving compensation for ongoing treatment, accident victims may seek compensation for back braces, adjustable beds, and other medical equipment they need as part of the pain management, rehab, and healing process.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a Palm Bay accident, a personal injury attorney can advise you of all your legal options. Contact our Palm Bay accident lawyer to receive a free, confidential case evaluation.
How much does a personal injury attorney cost?
At Couture Law P.A. in Melbourne, you won’t pay a penny unless our personal injury lawyers prevail at trial, or procure a settlement on your behalf. This arrangement is commonly referred to as payment “on a contingency basis.” Suffice to say, we’ll help you fight for every dollar for your pain and suffering.
How much time do I have to file an injury lawsuit?
The period of time from the date of the accident until you no longer can file a claim is known as the “statute of limitations.” In Florida, the amount of time in which statutes expire varies by case type. The statute of limitations for most injury cases is four (4) years. For medical malpractice and wrongful death cases, it’s two (2) years. Always err on the side of caution by consulting with your Melbourne personal injury attorney.
Do I have a case?
Because no two cases are alike, Melbourne injury attorneys should gather and analyze all of the facts regarding your case before addressing this question. After tracking down and speaking with witnesses, we’ll give you a fair, honest assessment of your unique situation – and how we can help.