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May 3, 2018


A personal injury occurs when an individual has suffered physical or psychological damage that is not a result of his or her own actions. Although the most common type of legal personal injury claims involves traffic accidents, other accidents such as personal injuries resulting from tripping accidents, assault accidents, wrongful death, medical malpractice, product defect accidents, and holiday accidents may also be legally pursued. If individuals can prove that their sustained personal injury was a result of the negligence of another party, then they may be entitled to monetary compensation.

Because each state varies in its legal procedures, it is important for individuals to understand the specific procedures of the state in which they reside. Below contains information on procedures and laws pertaining to personal injury claim in the state of Florida.


Directly after an individual has been wrongfully injured in an accident, they should immediately document all details pertaining to how the accident happened. Individuals should also gather all contact information from witnesses, police officers, and insurance companies. Photographs should also be taken of the accident scene, if possible. During this time, individuals should also alert any and all parties that they plan on filing an official claim against them.  We advise our client’s to speak to an attorney before conversing with either their insurance company, or the insurance company of the person that hit them.  Many times insurance companies record conversations with a client.  It is important to properly describe how the accident occurred and what injuries you may have sustained during this conversation.  Again, we recommend you speak with an Attorney before contacting the insurance company, or answering any questions that they might pose to you.


Individuals should keep in mind that under Florida state law, they must prove that the person who caused their injury was negligent. Specifically, individuals must prove that the other party had a responsibility not to injure that party and did not live up to that responsibility; there was a connection between their injury and the other party’s duty to them; and that they consequently suffered damages.

Under Florida’s Comparative Negligence law, if the injured individual was also careless, then the amount of compensation to which they are entitled will reflect the amount to which they were careless. Florida’s Joint and Several Liability rules dictate that if an injured individual is found to be at fault.

  • Any party found to be 10 percent or less at fault for an individual’s injuries will not be required to pay for medical expenses or lost wages.
  • Any party found to be more than 10 percent but less than 25 percent at fault for an individual’s injuries will be required to pay up to $200,000 of the injured party’s economic damages.
  • Any party found to be more than 25 percent but less than 50 percent at fault for an individual’s injuries, will be required to pay up to $500,000 of the injured party’s economic damages.

However, if the injured individual is not found at fault:

  • Any other party found to be more than 10 percent but less than 25 percent at fault, will be responsible for up to $500,000 of the injured party’s economic damages
  • Any other party found to be more than 25 percent but less than 50 percent at fault, will be responsible for up to $1,000,000 of the injured party’s economic damages
  • Any other party found to be more than 50 percent at fault will be responsible for up to $2,000,000 of the injured party’s economic damages.


If individuals sustained their injuries as a result of using a consumer product, according to Florida’s Strict Liability legal theory, the manufacturer of the product may be held responsible if the product was unreasonably dangerous. But individuals must first prove that the dangerousness of the product directly caused their injuries.


In the state of Florida, although anyone may file a claim, this is not advisable. Unfortunately, without strong guidance by a lawyer, most claims are dropped by the court system either because they are incorrectly filled out, or they lack substantial support. Nevertheless, individuals generally have up to four years from the time of wrong doing to file a claim. If individuals are victims of malpractice, then they only have two years from the time of wrong doing to file a claim. Once a claim has been filed with the appropriate court, the defendant will be served papers and the litigation process will begin.  It is important to consult with an Attorney for every case as soon as possible; once the statute of limitations on a case has run, you will not be able to further pursue the claim.


Although individuals are able to file lawsuits on their own, they are usually not very successful in doing so. Typically, a judge in Florida will dismiss any unsubstantiated or incorrectly filled out claim. However, with the help of an experienced and highly reputable personal injury attorney, individuals will be able to receive maximum compensation for their pain and suffering. Specifically, a reputable personal injury lawyer will help individuals to fill out all legal documents correctly, ensure that the defendant is promptly and properly served, and to gather all evidence needed in order to receive maximum monetary compensation.

Not a lot of individuals realize that they are entitled to monetary reimbursement for any or all medical bills, travel time to and from medical appointments, lost wages, and lost earning potential along with any psychological or physical suffering. In most cases, a structured settlement, or a financial or insurance agreement, is usually reached between the two parties.

Find more like this: Personal Injury

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“Amazing people, they had my claim for about a week before they were able to get my truck totaled out. Otherwise I would have been stuck with a truck that had heavy front end damage if they hadn’t stepped in to help me. I tried to deal with my insurance company myself for over a month and that got me nowhere, all I got was a massive headache and a messed up truck. They are very professional and act quickly on your claim. I highly recommend them to anyone who is looking for help.”

Candy J.


“I was in an accident and decided to call Wattel and York. After months of going to a Chiropractor, I finally felt better. When it came time for settlement, the insurance company was making an offer I wanted to accept, Mr. Wattel advised against it and felt the insurance company was shortchanging me. He recommended I file a lawsuit and that will get them to cave. Well, Dave filed suit, and sure enough, the insurance company increased their offer by $4,000! I am very satisfied with how my case was handled.”

Nardeasha S.


“Wattel & York were flat out outstanding with my personal injury case. They made the process painless and kept in constant communication throughout the entire time. Any questions I might’ve had were promptly answered and detail oriented. They gave me crucial advice that I would’ve otherwise not been aware of. I couldn’t have asked for more from them. Put your trust in these guys, you won’t be disappointed. Thanks Wattel & York.”

Mattew P.


“Thank you so much for all your hard work on our behalf! Thinking I could handle it on my own, I was originally reluctant to take my accident claim to an attorney. But I am SO glad I called you instead. Your people were always helpful, pleasant and responsive at every step along the way. You represented us with honesty and integrity and made a traumatic experience as painless as it could be. And best of all, you helped us get a settlement that was fair and far more than I could ever have negotiated on my own! I highly recommend Wattel &York to anyone who has suffered a personal injury.”

Cathy M.

“I was the passenger in a vehicle that was 'T- Boned' at an intersection in 2014. The issues of responsibility and recovery became a difficult and convoluted confusion. I really needed help. This Team at Wattel and York walked me patiently and encouragingly through difficult months, sorting through issues and finally arriving at a satisfactory conclusion. I especially want to name two great and encouraging "warriors" of Wattel and York who directed me along the way..Brian Torba and Melissa Patterson..to them and the whole team I say "Thank You" with heart felt gratitude. Sincerely, God Bless You.”

Robert G.

“Honesty. Integrity. Transparency. Partnership. Wattel & York brought all of these qualities and more to my accident case. I'd love to thank all of the team members who helped me with the process: David Guzman, who conducted the initial interview in my home, Aly Shomar-Esparza, who seamlessly guided me through paperwork and filings, Debbie Harrach, who conducted final review, paperwork revisions and scheduling, and Thomas Grisoni, who counseled me before and attended my deposition. I never felt alone during the arduous process and always knew there was a professional team looking out for my best interest. I highly recommend Wattel & York if you are unfortunately involved in an accident that was not your fault.”

Russ W.

“I was a passenger in a car that got t-boned a few years ago and got a huge gash. I didn't know a lot about lawyers, so I basically just picked one on the flip of a coin. I called Wattel and York and they explained everything, I went into the office and filled out paperwork. Got treatment on my gash over the time I worked with them, glad I did as it opened back up a couple times and bled. They did really good, got me the maximum amount of money, and made sure I was well taken care of. I was updated from time to time so that was good. The only thing I might change is I never got to thank or talk to my lawyer. I think it was because I was already used to dealing with the lady at their Glendale office so they just kept her as my point of contact. So it's okay, I'll thank them with a good review. The last thing I could say about them is months after I thought my case was over they called me and said they had another check for me for a few hundred dollars. Apparently, they negotiated with the hospital I went to after the accident. It was a nice surprise and shows they really had my interests in mind.”

Trent B.

“Wattel & York has been great for me in the past few years. I was involved in a really bad accident while I was on Active Duty in Yuma, Arizona and they have been patient with me every step of the way through a very long process. I would recommend them to anyone thank you for all your help.”

Levy G.

“Appreciate David taking the time to speak with me. He was most kind. From the front line with the receptionist, to him, the firm was a class act all the way around.”

Claire B.

“Dave Wattel represented me and my son on a Personal Injury case from a motor vehicle accident back in 2009. Jake P. handled my deposition and Dave did the Quarterbacking. The insurance company hired NFL referee Ed Hochuli's firm to try and deny our claim. But Wattel & York made it look as easy as Tom Brady on the football field. The result was more than acceptable and my son and I were compensated for our injuries and rehabilitation. Dave Wattel cares about his clients. If I ever find myself in a situation like this again, Wattel & York will be on speed dial!!”

Vince C.

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