If you’ve been injured in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, you’re entitled to financial compensation under the law. Boca Raton personal injury lawyer Scott J. Senft can offer you a free, no-obligation case evaluation. If he determines that you have a viable personal injury case, he will represent you on a contingency basis. That means that you do not have to pay out of pocket for his professional legal advice. He only gets paid if you win via a settlement or court award. Contact our Boca Raton law office for quality legal representation.
During your free consultation, Boca Raton attorney Senft will review the details of your case and determine if the following four elements are present. If all four elements are present, he can pursue maximum compensation through a personal injury claim.
1. Duty of Care
The first element an attorney must establish for there to be a viable case is the duty of care. For a defendant to be held liable, they must have had some duty of care to the plaintiff. For example, all drivers have a duty of care to other individuals who use the roadways, including cyclists and pedestrians. In addition, the owners of establishments have a duty of care to ensure the safety of employees, visitors, and customers.
2. Breach of Duty
A personal injury lawyer must next show that the defendant breached their duty of care. For example, a driver failing to stop in time because they were looking at their cell phone or a restaurateur who doesn’t post warning placards outside of a freshly mopped restroom.
Personal injury attorneys must be able to demonstrate that the breach of duty caused the accident or at least contributed to it. An example of causation would be a rear-end car accident where the driver of the lead vehicle was stopped at a red light. In this case, the victim has lawfully stopped their car, but the defendant, for whatever reason, failed to avoid the accident. A personal injury lawyer could easily demonstrate that the defendant’s failure to use due care caused the accident.
Under Florida law, a plaintiff can recover damages even if they were partially responsible for the accident. This is referred to as comparative negligence, and will be covered in another section.
If you’ve been injured in an accident, you have damages, even if you haven’t had any out-of-pocket expenses.
When Boca Raton personal injury lawyer Scott J. Senft meets with you for the first time, he will go over the details of your accident and explain if it has each of these elements. Then, if you have a viable personal injury claim, attorney Senft can offer you immediate representation free of charge. Call today for a free consultation.
Our Boca Raton Personal Injury Practice Areas
As a Boca Raton personal injury lawyer with years of case experience, attorney Scott J. Senft has handled various injury cases. The types of cases our Boca Raton personal injury law firm handles include:
According to the CDC, 2.1 million people are injured in motor vehicle accidents every year. In Florida, passenger car accidents are responsible for more injuries than any other type of vehicle, according to the FLHSMV. This may be because there are more cars than any other type of vehicle on Florida roadways. If you’ve been injured in a traffic accident, our Boca Raton car accident lawyer can help.
Commercial Truck Accidents
With their enormous weight and length, commercial trucks are among the most dangerous vehicles on the roadway. Trucking accidents can lead to serious physical injuries and even death, even at low speeds.
Because they can travel at high speeds and offer very little personal protection, there are almost always personal injuries associated with motorcycle accidents. Even when wearing a helmet and personal protective equipment, riders can face serious injuries.
Slip and Fall Accidents
The owners of premises have a legal responsibility to ensure the safety of employees and invitees. When they falter in this duty, serious injury can occur. A little-known fact is that falls are a frequent cause of death among the elderly population and a leading cause of emergency room visits.
Manufacturers have a legal duty to ensure that their products are safe for use or consumption. Product liability cases fall into three categories:
Manufacturer Defects – This occurs when the design is fundamentally sound, but individual units or batches have a dangerous defect. For example, a hammer where the head is not securely fitted to the handle.
Design Defects – These are flaws in the product and are shared across all units. This frequently occurs in medical devices and medications when testing is rushed or safety protocols are skipped.
Failure to Warn – This occurs when there is a known risk that is not conveyed to the consumer.
Because product liability cases are often part of a large multi-jurisdictional case, personal injury lawyers will often pool their resources and join a class action personal injury lawsuit.
The owners of dogs and other animals must ensure that their pets are properly vaccinated and are controlled by a chain, leash, or physical barrier. In animal bite cases, the owner’s property insurance company is usually liable for financial compensation.
Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
There are more than a dozen nursing homes in and around Boca Raton, housing thousands of residents. Allowing a facility to care for an aging or disabled loved one is a sacred trust. When a staff member either fails to attend to the needs of your loved one or is directly abusive, Boca Raton personal injury attorney Scott J. Senft holds staff and facilities responsible for nursing home abuse. Call today to discuss how to better protect your elderly or disabled relative.
These are devastating injuries that cause permanent disability or loss of capacity. Catastrophic injury cases usually involve high dollar amounts and can become extremely contentious. For these reasons, many personal injury lawyers avoid these more complicated personal injury cases. Attorney Senft, however, represents catastrophic personal injury victims in their pursuit of fair compensation.
Few things are as emotionally painful as seeing a loved one die from injuries caused by another person’s negligence. With wrongful death cases, there are additional elements that aren’t present in other personal injury cases. In addition to the medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering of the victim, there are also emotional distress and economic losses for the survivors.
These are just some of the practice areas that our Boca Raton personal injury lawyer can handle on your behalf. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, talk to a personal injury attorney now.
Most Common Types of Accident Injuries
Nearly any type of personal injury can occur in an accident. However, different injuries are often more prevalent in specific types of accidents. Here are some of the most common injury types we see at our Boca Raton personal injury law firm:
Whiplash – This occurs when the head snaps backward and then forward or vice versa. The sudden motion strains the ligaments and tendons in the neck. These are commonly associated with car and truck accidents, but can also result from a physical attack or a fall.
Burns – Burns are frequently caused by workplace accidents or in-premises liability accidents. Types of burns include thermal burns, chemical burns, and electrical burns.
Spinal Cord Injury – The spinal cord is the thick collection of nerves that travel down from the base of the skull to the center of the back. The nerves that regulate all of the body’s functions, including motion, emanate from the spinal cord. Depending upon where spinal cord injuries occur, they can affect different bodily functions. Contact a spinal cord injury attorney to discuss your claim. Source: Wikimedia Commons
Traumatic Brain Injury – TBIs range from mild concussions to brain injuries that can cause complete debilitation. Traumatic brain injury victims are often involved in a car accident, a bad slip and fall, a physical attack, or a sports-related injury.
Internal Injuries – With internal bleeding, accidental injury victims are often unaware that they’ve been injured until days after the accident. It’s one of the main reasons that most personal injury lawyers recommend that injured victims get examined by medical professionals as soon after the incident as possible.
Regardless of the nature of your accident, if you believe you’ve been injured, seek medical attention immediately after the accident occurs. It will not adversely affect your injury case or your ability to pursue maximum compensation.
Types of Personal Injury Damages and Compensation
The state of Florida recognizes three different types of damages in personal injury claims. Economic damages and non-economic damages are compensatory damages, while punitive damages are non-compensatory.
All financial costs associated with an accident are compensable. These include medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, etc. In wrongful death cases, in addition to the medical costs prior to the death of the accident victims, economic damages can include funeral expenses and the future lost earnings of the decedent.
Non-economic damages are also referred to as “pain and suffering” because they account for the severe pain and emotional suffering that victims often experience in the aftermath of an accident. In wrongful death cases, non-economic damages include the pain and suffering of the decedent and their surviving loved ones.
In cases where the defendant either behaved in an egregious manner or their actions were intentional, the court may award punitive damages. These are damages that the liable parties must pay in addition to compensable damages. For instance, if a defendant who was way over the legal blood alcohol limit caused an auto accident that severely injured or killed another driver, the court might award punitive damages.
Florida Damage Caps
Florida law does not place caps on compensable damages (economic and non-economic damages). However, there is a cap on punitive damages of three times the amount of compensable damages or $500,000 — whichever is greater.
Personal injury attorneys hold liable parties accountable by seeking the maximum compensation for their clients. If you have any question about how much your case could be worth, contact our law firm in Boca Raton, FL, for a free case evaluation.
Immediate Steps to Take After a Personal Injury Accident
While every type of accident is different, there are similarities that occur with most personal injury cases. By taking the following steps, you can help to protect yourself from further injury and strengthen your case for a personal injury lawsuit:
Get to a Safe Place – This is particularly important with car accidents where remaining in place may further endanger you. You should not move injured parties unless it is absolutely necessary to protect them from imminent harm.
Call 911 – Never assume that witnesses or other parties are going to call the police. The dispatcher will need to know your physical location, known injuries, and how many people were hurt. For an auto accident, they will also require lanes of travel and vehicle descriptions.
Speak to Witnesses – In many Palm Beach County accidents, witnesses will stop to make sure that accident victims are safe but will quickly move on. Ask witnesses to remain on the scene. If they have to leave, ask them for their contact information.
Take Pictures or Video – Accident scenes change rapidly, so if you can, take pictures from a safe location. Photos should include visible injuries, the conditions that led to the accident, and geographic indicators (i.e., a road sign in auto accidents, an aisle number for slip and falls, etc.). This evidence can be invaluable to plaintiff attorneys when it comes to the insurance company claims process.
Allow EMTs to Examine You – This will establish a baseline for your injuries. However, even if the paramedics don’t see the need to transport you to an emergency room, follow up with your regular doctor and other medical professionals as necessary.
Contact a Boca Raton Personal Injury Attorney – It’s common for an insurance adjuster to take proactive measures to get you to accept an early settlement. That’s because they know that if you retain the services of a personal injury lawyer, the settlement amount is likely to climb much higher.
The adjuster may offer to cut you a check on the spot for your medical costs, property damage, and even a little additional money for your inconvenience, but if you accept the settlement offer, you’ll have to sign a liability waiver, which will prevent you from recovering further damages.
The Florida Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims
For most personal injury claims in Florida, the statute of limitations is four years from the date of the accident. While that may seem like a substantial amount of time, personal injury lawyers usually prefer that you talk to them as early as possible.
For wrongful death claims, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of death. If you attempt to file a legal claim after the statute of limitations expires, it will be rejected by the court.
Florida’s Comparative Negligence Law
Florida operates under the pure comparative fault principle. Under pure comparative negligence, a plaintiff can make a legal claim even if they are partially at fault. For instance, if the owner of an establishment fails to clean a slippery substance from their floor, they have created a hazard. If a customer slips in it, it’s very likely that the court would determine the store owner or their insurance is responsible for the customer’s injuries. However, if the customer was running at the time of the accident, the court might determine that the customer was 25% liable for their injuries. In this case, the plaintiff could seek compensation for 75% of their damages.
In most personal injury cases, the law firm and the insurer try to agree on the percentage of liability each party should incur.
Personal Injury Statistics
According to the Florida Department of Health, accidental injuries are the leading cause of death for individuals aged 1 to 44. In 2020, injuries resulted in 18,159 deaths, which was 8.8% of the total deaths for the state. In 2021, fall injuries accounted for the most accidental deaths in Palm Beach County, followed by traffic accidents. Additionally, Palm Beach County had an injury hospitalization rate of 756.4 per 100,000 people. This compares with a rate of 643.2 for the rest of the state.
Why Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?
Many accident victims in Boca Raton, FL, wonder why they shouldn’t just accept a settlement or try to negotiate their claim with the insurance company without an attorney. While this is an option, it’s in your best interest not to give in to this inclination. The adjusters who work for the insurance companies are experts in their field, and their responsibility is to the insurance company. If you try to work with them without representation, you may be very disappointed in the results.
On the other hand, Boca Raton personal injury attorney Scott J. Senft will work for you on a contingency basis. He only receives compensation if your case settles or he wins in court. If Mr. Senft accepts your case, he will perform the following duties:
Collect accident reports and medical records
Subpoena and depose all witnesses, including the defendant
Calculate all compensatory damages
Review discovery evidence from the defense
Review all settlement offers
Negotiate with the insurance company’s attorneys or the defendant’s legal counsel
Prepare Letters of Protection (LOPs), which will allow you to defer your medical bills
File a civil lawsuit on your behalf
Retain the services of expert witnesses and accident reconstruction experts
Represent you in a lawsuit to seek compensation under the law
Personal injury lawyers representing accident injury victims often recover much more in damages than the initial settlement offer, even after their fees are deducted. Call our Boca Raton office today for a free, no-obligation consultation.
Personal Injury FAQ
Attorney Scott J. Senft is a personal injury lawyer who has successfully represented hundreds of Boca Raton, FL clients. These are some of the most common questions he receives. For specific answers to your questions, call our Boca Raton office today!
Will my case result in a personal injury lawsuit?
Even if your case is likely to result in a personal injury lawsuit, it’s far less likely to wind up in court. Insurance companies prefer settlement to the unpredictability of a civil trial. However, in cases where the insurer is not willing to negotiate, you’ll want a seasoned veteran like attorney Senft representing you in court.
How much is my personal injury case worth?
Every personal injury case is different. You’re entitled to compensation for all of your medical bills, lost income, property damage, pain and suffering, and more. However, damages are based on complex calculations that account for the severity of the injuries, the degree of negligence of the defendant, and more. After your initial evaluation in our Boca Raton office, attorney Senft can begin assembling the information he needs to present a demand letter to the at-fault parties.
What if my injuries were the result of an intentional act?
Criminal acts are still compensable in civil court. For instance, if you were in a car crash due to a road rage incident, the civil and criminal case can run concurrently.
Who sets the contingency fees in Florida?
The Florida Bar establishes the contingency fee guidelines for law firms. However, you should always review the contingency fee schedule before hiring an attorney.
Personal Injury Law Firm in Boca Raton, FL
The Boca Raton Law Offices of Scott Jay Senft has built its reputation by successfully representing injury victims throughout South Florida. If you’ve been injured in an accident, contact a medical professional immediately, but then contact attorney Senft for a free one-on-one consultation.
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Professional law firm, they handled my case very well and I'm very satisfied with the settlement the lawyer was able to obtain. Previous lawyer didn't compare to how Scott Senft diligently handled my case. Legal assistant handling my file was very understanding and helped me throughout the entire process. I was very satisfied and happy overall.
My experience was positive from the first moment I consulted with him. Scott was attentive, thorough, and helpful throughout a very difficult time. Rosie was my paralegal and was with us every step of the way with insight and compassion, always responding quickly and effectively with any questions or issues as they arose.
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Since the first moment I reached out to this office all the staff was very supporting and trying to help me in every way. The process took the average, I think, and I'm very happy with the result and feeling great. Would recommend this attorney and his offices.
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I suffered a tragic loss of my totaled car back in September of 2017. Although the process was extensive, (as expected, these lawsuits usually take yearsss) I received transportation to and from my chiropractor visits as needed, my outpatient back procedure was given by one of the best doctors! (and relieved me of 80% of the pain I was experiencing prior); and Todd helped me out tremendously & talked me through the whole ordeal despite my frustrations. Today I received even more than I was expected to. I can now go purchase a new car! I want to thank Todd especially, as well as the Law offices of Scott Jay Senft! I would recommend them to anyone who is experiencing a loss due to a car accident. Thank me later
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Donna at Scott J Senfts office was truly amazing through this difficult experience. She helped me receive early funding for my immediate needs and bills and was holding my hand literally and figuratively throughout the entire process. The check I received was for much more than expected and I’m truly grateful for choosing this firm and wound recommend them to anyone
Top Car Accident Lawyers: We’ve Been Helping Individuals for 23 Years
Scott J. Senft has dedicated his entire personal injury lawyer career to helping people who have been injured and are in need of legal assistance.
With 23 years of experience, our law firm knows exactly how to handle all types of personal injury cases. Our personal injury attorneys know all about the negative effects of defamatory statements, medical bills, insurance companies, wage loss, the pain and suffering, and all the damages that make a personal injury case. We understand how difficult this time is for you, and therefore, our ultimate goal is to always serve clients the best way we can to alleviate the consequences of these accidents and help them recover their good reputation after suffering from defamation or libel. This is why we provide a free consultation and work on a contingency fee basis. Call us to learn more about what we can do to help you with your personal injury case. We’ll be happy to answer any of your questions and schedule your appointment with us.
For over 25 years,The Law Offices of Scott J Senfthave served South Florida as one of the top personal injury law firms. If you or a loved one has been involved in any type of accident, do not hesitate to reach out immediately.
What should I do if I was involved in a car accident and I have no way to come to your law firm's office?
If you have been involved in any type of accident, like a motorcycle accident, where an injury has occurred, please contact us and we will send someone to meet with you immediately. It does not matter where you live, we will have a personal injury attorney or one of our accident investigators travel to your location at your earliest convenience. Do not wait after your car accident, contact one of South Florida'stop auto accident lawyerstoday!