Tampa Personal Injury Lawyer
Since 1976, The Matassini Law Firm has been helping accident victims get compensation for their injuries
The Matassini Law Firm, P.A. is noted for compassionate counsel and aggressive advocacy in personal injury cases. Our firm has more than 60 years of combined litigation experience and has the resources to pursue personal injury claims through trial to verdict when necessary. Our talented Tampa personal injury lawyers and skilled support staff are ready to assist you in your injury matter.
Comprehensive approach to complex personal injury litigation
Personal injury cases are rarely cut and dried. What may appear at first glance to be a routine auto accident may raise issues of liability for the car’s manufacturer in addition to a negligent driver. Medical malpractice cases require expert analysis and testimony to determine negligence and causation. Our lawyers approach every case with open eyes and never settle for a superficial analysis of what could be a complex problem.
Florida Personal Injury FAQs
How do Florida courts determine legal liability?
In civil court, a plaintiff alleging an injury must show that:
- The defendant had a duty to act with care.
- The defendant breached that duty and instead acted carelessly, recklessly or deliberately.
- The defendant’s careless, reckless or deliberate act caused harm to the plaintiff.
- The plaintiff suffered true harm for which compensation is appropriate.
The plaintiff need not prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt, but only by a preponderance of the evidence which means “more likely than not.” If the plaintiff proves these points, the defendant is said to be liable, that is, responsible for the harm, and must pay a civil verdict that a judge or jury determines is sufficient.
How does comparative negligence affect personal injury compensation?
Comparative negligence is a part of the law that recognizes that two or more people can share responsibility for an accident. Therefore, a defendant who is accused of causing harm to a plaintiff can offer a defense that the plaintiff was also negligent. For instance, if a plaintiff slipped and fell in a restaurant, the defendant could claim the plaintiff was running when the slip occurred, and that the running was just as much a factor as the wet surface. The court reduces the plaintiff’s total recovery according to a percentage of the plaintiff’s liability.
How long do I have to file a personal injury claim in Florida?
The statute of limitations imposes time constraints on personal injury, wrongful death, and medical malpractice cases. A would-be plaintiff must file a lawsuit, usually within two to four years, or lose the right to sue forever. The statute is different for different types of injuries, so it’s important to consult a knowledgeable attorney at The Matassini Law Firm on this and other personal injury questions.
What advantages are there to hiring an attorney rather than handling the case myself?
If you are an injured party, you must consider how much you can take on while still trying to recover your health. Can you reasonably expect to:
- Learn all you need to know about the law and court procedure?
- Interview all the witnesses and get their testimony on record?
- Collect all the physical evidence connected to your case?
- Consult with qualified experts who can interpret the evidence?
- Advance all costs of the litigation?
- Correctly assess the value of your case and negotiate a settlement for that amount?
- Represent yourself in court against trained professionals who try cases for a living?
At The Matassini Law Firm, we do all this and more, so you can enjoy peace of mind and concentrate on recovering your health.
How much does it cost to take a case to trial?
A trial is very expensive, since a plaintiff’s attorney must advance costs for:
- Filing the case and serving the defendants
- Preparing and filing motions and responses to motions
- Making court appearances
- Assembling physical and documentary evidence
- Reviewing documentary evidence
- Preparing plaintiff interrogatories/subpoenas
- Answering defense interrogatories/subpoenas
- Copying and shipping documents
- Deposing witnesses
- Having a court stenographer transcribe witness depositions
- Consulting with experts
Fortunately, you are not responsible for these advanced costs. The Matassini Law Firm works on a contingency fee basis, so you only pay us after we recover compensation for you through a settlement or trial verdict.
What happens when a case goes to arbitration?
Arbitration is an alternative means for resolving a legal dispute, designed to be faster and less expensive that a trial. Each side presents its case to an arbiter rather than a judge or jury. The arbiter then rules in favor of one side or the other. In binding arbitration, the sides agree to be ruled by the arbiter’s decisions; in non-binding arbitration, they reserve the right to take the case to trial.
How important is it for my attorney to have had recent trial experience?
Defendants — which more often than not are insurance companies — hate going to trial. When your attorney can credibly threaten to go to trial, insurance companies are more likely to settle on favorable terms. Attorneys who have a reputation for settling quickly and easily have very little leverage in negotiations. Since our attorneys have a record of success at trial, defendants must take us seriously.
How long does a personal injury case take to resolve?
There is no average time for a personal injury case, since each case entails a unique set of facts. Some cases resolve within weeks, others take years. However, factors that can make a case take longer include:
- Uncertainty about the defendant’s fault
- Uncertainty about the plaintiff’s contributory fault
- The high cost of the plaintiff’s damages
- Uncertainty about the plaintiff’s damage claim
- Multiple defendants
- Multiple plaintiffs
- The availability of a trial date
- The plaintiff’s decision to opt for a jury trial rather than a bench trial
As a general rule, the more compensation the plaintiff requests, the harder an insurance company will fight to bring that number down, which often involves stalling the process and dragging out negotiations. In many high-value cases, defendant insurance companies wait until the trial date approaches to begin serious settlement talks.
Call our Tampa personal injury lawyers today for a free consultation
The Matassini Law Firm, P.A. delivers the critical elements necessary for a positive outcome in personal injury cases: experience, skill and relentless dedication. Count on our family to help yours in your time of need. For your free initial confidential conference with one of our Tampa personal injury lawyers, call 813.379.2007 or contact us online.