Lake City Personal Injury Lawyers
Personal Injury Lawsuits in Columbia County, FL
Were you injured in an accident? Was someone else at fault? You could be entitled to financial compensation—and Schackow & Mercadante can help. Founded in 1965, our firm has earned a reputation amongst our peers and within the community for providing personalized and compassionate legal services to those harmed by the negligence of others. We are known for our tireless client advocacy, as well as our willingness to go to trial whenever necessary. We strive to settle cases quickly and efficiently, but we are always ready to represent you in court if the insurance company refuses to play fair.
If you were involved in a car crash, injured due to unsafe conditions on someone else’s property, or lost a loved one in a tragic and fatal accident, turn to our Lake City personal injury lawyers for the help you need. We are here to guide you through the legal process, answering your questions and addressing your concerns every step of the way. There is no case too complex or challenging for our firm; reach out to us today to learn how we can help you fight for the justice and fair recovery you deserve.
Contact us online or call (352) 261-6767 to schedule a free initial consultation with our team today.
Determining Whether You Have a Case
In Florida, there are several things you must prove to have a personal injury case:
- First, you must prove that you were injured and that your injury led to measurable damages for which you can be compensated, such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering
- Next, you must prove that the defendant owed you a duty of care, meaning they had a legal responsibility to take and/or avoid certain actions that could cause foreseeable injury
- You must also prove that the defendant failed to uphold, or “breached,” the duty of care, most often by acting negligently or wrongfully
- Lastly, you must prove that the defendant’s negligent or wrongful conduct was the direct or proximate cause of your injury and damages
Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may need to prove additional elements of your claim. For example, if you have a premises liability claim, you will likely need to prove that you were not trespassing at the time your injury occurred.
Additionally, if you were involved in a motor vehicle accident, you may not have to establish fault. Because Florida follows a no-fault car insurance system, you can receive compensation for certain accident-related damages regardless of who was at fault for the crash. However, no-fault insurance—known as personal injury protection, or PIP—does not cover the full cost of your medical bills and lost wages, nor does it cover any non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering. To go outside the no-fault system, you will have to prove that your injuries meet the state’s “serious injury” threshold.
When you suffer a serious injury, you are likely to experience a range of physical, emotional, and financial losses. Collectively, these losses are referred to as “damages.”
There are two main types of damages in personal injury cases:
- Compensatory Damages: As the name suggests, compensatory damages are meant to compensate victims of negligence for specific losses they have endured as a result of their injuries. There are two types of compensatory damages:
- Economic: Economic damages are those that have a specified and set dollar value, such as medical bills or lost wages
- Non-Economic: Non-economic damages are more intangible than economic damages and include things like physical and mental pain and suffering
- Punitive Damages: Punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant, rather than compensate the victim for specific losses. Also known as exemplary damages, punitive damages are generally only available in cases involving gross negligence or intentional misconduct.
The state of Florida has a cap on punitive damages. The limit on punitive damages in most personal injury cases in Florida is three times the compensatory damages or $500,000, whichever amount is greater.
At Schackow & Mercadante, we are committed to helping our clients fight for the full and fair compensation they are owed. We work tirelessly to maximize our clients’ recoveries through aggressive negotiation and, when necessary, litigation. We are not afraid to take cases to trial if that is what is necessary to effectively advocate for our clients.
If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident or otherwise harmed due to the negligent or wrongful conduct of another, turn to the Lake City personal injury attorneys at Schackow & Mercadante for the legal representation you need. We are prepared to handle every aspect of your claim, allowing you to focus on what matters most: healing.
We know that the legal process can be daunting, which is why we act as your advocate and guide from beginning to end. Our team is happy to answer your questions and provide the information you need to make empowered decisions about your case, your recovery, and your future.
We handle all types of personal injury cases, including those involving:
- Automobile accidents
- Motorcycle crashes
- Large truck collisions
- Slips and falls
- Dog bites and animal attacks
- Pedestrian accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Boating accidents
- Pool and water accidents
- Aviation accidents
- Medical negligence
- Nursing home abuse
- Defective drugs and medical products
- Catastrophic injuries
- Workplace accidents
- Scooter accidents
- Wrongful death
We are ready to fight for you and the full, fair recovery you are owed. Our team will be there for you every step of the way, working tirelessly to protect your rights and obtain a fair settlement from the insurance company or liable party.
Schedule a free consultation with our Lake City personal injury attorneys today by calling us at (352) 261-6767 or by contacting us online using our secure submission form.
“I met with Marie Banks to go over Car Accident Preparedness. She was awesome and so full of knowledge. Patient with all my questions and I left her office feeling good about the insurance I had and felt prepared if an accident were to happen. She treated me like family. Thank you! 10 out of 10 would definitely recommend.”
Personalized Advice & Concierge Level Experience
Direct Communication With Your Attorney
Over 125 Years of Combined Experience
Practicing in The Gainesville Area 55+ Years