General Questions

“When should I contact a Coral Springs Injury Attorney?”

Time is important in these claims, so we suggest you contact us immediately.

Evidence is often lost, and witnesses are either overlooked or lost as more time passes. The evidence and witnesses are often critical to a successful claim.

Contact a Coral Springs Injury Attorney immediately for an individual free evaluation of your potential claim.

“Do most cases go to trial to recover damages?”

Most cases do not go to trial. Statistically, about 95 percent of personal injury cases that are filed settle without going to trial, at mediation or otherwise. At The Law Office of John D. Ameen we pride ourselves on our results whether by settlement or trial.

“When should I settle my case?”

Any discussion of settlement would be premature until the nature and extent of your injuries are known. This is generally what is known as MMI (maximum medical improvement).

At that time, your physician, lawyer and yourself will know the effects the injury has had on you in the past, and the likely effects the injury will have on you in the future regarding your ability to:

  • work
  • enjoy your hobbies
  • perform activities of daily living

Once you reach MMI, settlement discussions can be made. If your case is not settled at that time, a lawsuit should be filed immediately.

“How does a prior injury affect the value of my claim?”

Generally, a person who is negligent or careless may only be responsible for the injury they caused. If you had a prior, or “pre-existing” injury, the third party may not be responsible to compensate you for a condition that already existed.

However, if you can prove that the negligence made the injury worse, you can be awarded damages for an “aggravation of the pre-existing condition.” In Florida there is a specific “jury instruction” which deals specifically with pre-existing conditions.

“What are the issues affecting whether damages can be recovered?”

Every case addresses four issues:

  • Liability – was a third party negligent?
  • Causation – did the negligent conduct cause an injury?
  • Damages – what is the amount that will fairly and adequately compensate you for your injuries
  • Source of collection – is there insurance or other assets from which damages can be recovered?

“What is a normal settlement amount?”

Every case is different, and there is no exact measure of compensation. However, there are certain “elements of damages” which will be considered when negotiating a settlement. The proper value of a claim is established when an experienced trial lawyer reviews and interprets the case information, such as:

  • The strength of liability and causation
  • The amount of the medical bills incurred in the past
  • Loss of past income
  • The amount of medical bills likely to be incurred in the future
  • Loss of future earning capacity
  • Extent of the injuries sustained, and how they have affected you and your family in the past
  • How your injuries will likely affect you and your family in the future

Wrongful Death

“What is a wrongful death claim?”

A wrongful death claim alleges that someone’s negligence or recklessness caused the victim’s death. Each individual state has a “wrongful death” statute to allow certain survivors to bring this type of claim.

“What are the elements of a wrongful death claim?”

Generally, a wrongful death occurs when a death is caused, in whole or in part, by the conduct of a negligent or reckless third party.

“Who can file a wrongful death claim?”

Although the exact category of people allowed to bring such a claim varies, generally the decedent’s spouse and/or children may bring these claims.

“When must a wrongful death claim be filed?”

Each state has its own time limit, or “statute of limitation,” that defines the time frame during which a wrongful death lawsuit may be filed. In Florida the statute of limitation for a wrongful death claim is generally two years. A claim, even a valid claim, may be (and usually is) denied by the courts if it is filed after the statute of limitations has run.

Nursing Home

“What are some of the causes of nursing home neglect and abuse?”

Many instances of nursing home abuse have been attributed to under qualified and inexperienced staff, as well as under staffed facilities. Staff that is unable to handle different nursing home situations may not be able to provide good care to their residents.

“What are some signs that indicate nursing home neglect or abuse could be occurring?”

Any of the following signs could warrant further investigation:

  • Unexplained bruises, cuts, burns, sprains, or fractures in various stages of healing
  • Bedsores
  • Unexplained venereal disease or genital infections; vaginal or anal bleeding; torn, stained, or bloody underclothing
  • Sudden changes in behavior
  • Staff refusing to allow visitors to see resident or delays in allowing visitors to see resident
  • Resident being kept in an over-medicated state

“How prevalent is nursing home neglect?”

1.6 million Americans reside in over 16,000 nursing homes across this country. A 1998 study conducted by the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) concluded that more than half of the suspicious deaths studied in nursing homes were probably due to nursing home neglect, including malnutrition and dehydration.

Unreported instances of abuse must also be taken under consideration when evaluating this statistic.

“If I suspect nursing home neglect or abuse what should I do?”

Unfortunately, deaths and serious injuries have resulted from nursing home neglect and abuse. If nursing home neglect is suspected, you should contact an attorney immediately as time is of the essence.

Medical Malpractice

“What is medical malpractice?”

Medical malpractice is negligence committed by a health care provider, such as a doctor or nurse, whose treatment of a patient departs from the acceptable standard of care met by those with similar training and experience, resulting in injury to a patient or patients.

“Does someone who is not satisfied with the results of his or her surgery have a malpractice case?”

In general, there are no guarantees of medical results, and unsuccessful results do not always mean that negligence has occurred. To succeed in a medical malpractice case, a plaintiff must show that an injury occurred as a direct result of the doctor’s deviation from the acceptable standard of care.

“What should I do if a think I have a medical malpractice claim?”

You should talk to a lawyer who specializes in such cases immediately. Tell the attorney exactly what happened and why you think the health care provider was negligent in causing your injury.

If possible, you should obtain your medical records and bring them to your first meeting with the attorney. There are time limits governing how long someone may bring a medical malpractice claim, so time is of the essence.

“What are some common medical errors that might result in a medical malpractice claim?”

Medical malpractice can occur in many forms, including:

  • misdiagnosis of some disease or condition
  • failure to inform the patient of the risks inherent with a certain procedure or drug
  • prescribing the wrong medication for a specific illness
  • negligently performing a procedure

“What percentage of hospital patients become victims of medical mistakes?”

Approximately 3% of all hospital patients are victims of medical mistakes. A 1999 Recent U.S. Healthcare Industry Survey estimated that between 44,000 and 98,000 patients die each year as a result of medical errors. Of that number, 7,000 patients died as a result of prescription errors or drug dispensing errors.