Gould Cooksey Fennell

Personal Injury Attorneys

Ask Someone You Trust®

When you experience a serious and traumatic personal injury or loss due to someone’s negligence, it’s important to have the right team on your side. If you or someone you love is a victim of medical malpractice, a car accident, fall, or product defect, choosing the right personal injury attorney could be one of the most important decisions of your life.

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Gould Cooksey Fennell has more than 60 years of experience fighting for those who are seriously injured by the negligence of others. Having a local Vero Beach medical malpractice or personal injury attorney with the right experience on your side is crucial to take on the insurance companies and other large corporations that don’t have your best interests at heart.

Personal Injury Specialties

Personal Injury
Auto Accidents
Personal Injury
Motorcycle Accidents
Personal Injury
trucking Accidents
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Wrongful Death
Personal Injury
Traumatic Brain Injury
Personal Injury
Medical Malpractice
Personal Injury
Premises Liability

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If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, a fall, by a defective product, or as a result of medical malpractice, choosing the right personal injury or medical malpractice lawyer could be one of the most important decisions of your life.

While there are countless billboards and television commercials advertising Florida personal injury attorneys, most of those advertisers are not from Indian River County. Having a personal injury attorney who understands our community can afford you tremendous advantages when bringing a case here in Indian River County.

About Our Florida Personal Injury and Malpractice Lawyers

Since 1955, Gould Cooksey Fennell has been in Vero Beach fighting for the proposition that the court system is here to protect everyone, not just the rich and powerful. Our team of medical malpractice and personal injury attorneys will fight to protect your rights. We go to trial on behalf of clients in Indian River County every year. And we work tirelessly to assure justice for each and every client.

Car insurance companies, other liability insurance companies, and large corporations have vast resources available to protect their interests. It’s our mission to make sure every citizen has access to that same level of professionalism, preparation, and dedication. With our resources and our team of experienced trial lawyers, we work hard to level the playing field and earn you the best possible outcome in your personal injury or wrongful death case.

Personal Injury

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Frequently Asked Questions

Gould Cooksey Fennell has adopted the Contingency Fee Contract approved by the Florida Bar. We do not collect a fee unless we make a recovery on your case. It is free to have one of our attorneys meet with you to review your personal injury case.

It is best to speak with an attorney before you speak with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Calls with the insurance company are often recorded.  Victims of negligence may unknowingly cause harm to their case by saying something that is later taken out of context.  Once you speak with an experienced personal injury attorney, your lawyer will advise you how to handle future calls.

There is no formula to determine exactly how much a case is worth. The value depends on the severity of your injuries, the details of the case, insurance limits, and the defendant’s identity. A personal injury jury verdict is determined by factoring in the total cost of medical expenses, future medical care needs, lost wages, loss of future earning capacity, and pain and suffering. Our experienced litigators will review your claim with you and discuss potential recovery based on the factors in your case.

Because each case is unique, it is difficult to determine how long it will take to resolve a personal injury lawsuit. A personal injury lawsuit may settle in a few months without the need for a trial, while others, particularly cases that go to trial, can take several years to complete.

Insurance plays a role in virtually every personal injury lawsuit. Though not required, in Florida, most responsible drivers will carry bodily injury insurance (BI). BI insurance covers claims of the at-fault individual or company as well as the owner of the at-fault vehicle, and pays for the medical bills and pain and suffering of the injured party. While most lawsuits seek monetary damages that will be paid by the at-fault party’s insurance company, a lawsuit generally does not name the insurance company as a defendant. However, the insurance company hires and pays the lawyer representing the at-fault party.
Many people wisely purchase additional protection in the event that a negligent driver has limited or no insurance coverage at all. This form of protection is called uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance (UM).  UM insurance coverage will help compensate an injured party if the at-fault party’s BI coverage is insufficient.

Notable Verdicts & Settlements

Plaintiff, a minor, was run over by a large pickup truck in a commercial parking lot next door to her home. The Plaintiff sustained injuries to her head and body as well as continuing mental trauma. After an eight day trial, a Brevard County jury found the business owner negligent for the removal of a fence that previously served as a safety barrier between the business and the residence next door, which was also owned by the Defendant and rented to Plaintiff’s Mother.  The jury awarded the minor Plaintiff $4,500,406.00.

Plaintiff was driving a log truck on US-441 hauling a full load of logs when an oncoming driver of a tanker drifted across the road into Plaintiff’s lane. The collision of the two trucks resulted in Plaintiff’s truck rolling over into a ditch with the logs flying off the trailer. Plaintiff he suffered spinal injuries, severe bodily injury, extensive surgeries and hospitalization, and other continuing losses.  After a seven day trial an Indian River County jury returned an award totaling $2,899,878.60.

While stopped at the intersection of 43rd Ave and 8th Street, Plaintiff was rear-ended by the Defendant, launching her vehicle into another vehicle in front of her. Plaintiff sustained permanent injuries to her right knee and cervical spine, both requiring surgical intervention in the years following the collision. After a nine day trial, an Indian River County jury returned an award of $1,259,090.73

While stopped at the intersection of US Hwy 1 and Vista Royale Boulevard, the Plaintiff’s vehicle was struck from behind with such force that the rear of his SUV was lifted off the ground and his vehicle slammed into the rear of the vehicle in front of him. As a result of the violent impact, Plaintiff sustained permanent injuries to his cervical and lumbar spine. An Indian River County jury awarded the Plaintiff $1,487,412.99.

Plaintiff was operating a small motorcycle/scooter when a 91 year old man turned left in front of him hitting him essentially head on. As a result of the collision, the Plaintiff sustained catastrophic injuries to his lower body, including snapped femurs and fractures to the spine and pelvis. After a two week trial the Indian River County jury returned an award totaling $9.381 million.

A Brevard County Jury awarded Plaintiff $6.4M against Defendant State Farm, following an accident that resulted in numerous catastrophic orthopedic injuries, including a below knee amputation of the Plaintiff’s left leg.

Plaintiff sustained numerous orthopedic injuries as a result of the negligence of a driver working for the State of Florida Department of Agriculture. At trial, the case resulted in a verdict of $5,582,776.82. Because the government’s damages are statutorily limited to $100,000 under Sovereign Immunity laws, Gould Cooksey Fennell’s Personal Injury Group was forced to fight in the Legislature for several years to pursue the passage of a Claims Bill. Ultimately a Bill was passed for 40 times the statutory limitations.

Indian River County crash resulting in significant injuries to a husband and wife. This matter was resolved prior to filing a lawsuit.

Trial arising from failure to diagnosis colon perforation after a laparoscopic hysterectomy surgery causing permanent injury to the Plaintiff. After a three week trial a Martin County jury rejected the Defendants’ position finding the hospital 70% responsible for Mrs. Moore’s damages and the physician 30% responsible. The award included just over $600,000 for past medical expenses, $370,000 in future medical care, and non-economic damages of almost $2 million.

Obtained a Trial Verdict of $1.64 million dollars for injuries sustained by an 86 year old woman in a rollover auto accident on SR 60 in Vero Beach, Florida. After prolonged hospitalization, Mrs. Koebele never fully recovered and an Indian River County Jury awarded $1,170,130 for her injuries and $475,000 for her husband’s consortium claim.

Automobile crash in Vero Beach, FL resulting in cervical injury, including disc herniation to a 22 year old tennis professional.

Medical Negligence claim arising out of a breach in the standard of care by failing to follow physician’s orders and hospital policies with regard to timely assessments of the Plaintiff and her vital signs; failing to recognize signs of respiratory distress; and failing to follow hospital policies regarding recording and disposal of PCA morphine.

Settlement arising from motor vehicle crash that killed a husband and wife in Indian River County.

Indian River County jury awarded verdict against Defendant State Farm following an automobile accident where the defendant Driver was underinsured.

Pedestrian was struck and killed crossing the street in Hillsborough County, Florida.

Injury resulting from a freezer door falling on Plaintiff while shopping at a retail store.

Incident resulting from pedestrian being struck by vehicle in parking lot. In only six short months following the incident, the Plaintiff had a remarkable physical, mental and functional decline which ultimately led to his death.

An 83 year old woman was killed when her car was struck by a 18-wheeler on SR 60 in Vero Beach, FL. The decedent’s adult children agreed to proceed as her statutory survivors and obtained a wrongful death settlement of $400,000.

Gould Cooksey Fennell served as Co-Counsel in a Georgia case involving alleged misdiagnosis/mistreatment of preeclampsia resulting in the death of a 39 year old mother.

Plaintiff was knocked over by unleashed dogs, resulting in a fall and ultimate brain injury.

Types of Personal Injury Cases We Handle

Personal injury accidents can happen anywhere, from a slippery sidewalk to a grocery store. Unfortunately, many personal injury accidents are entirely preventable. Typically, personal injury accidents happen because another person or business acted with negligence or wrongdoing. In a personal injury accident, the liable party could be an individual, a company, or even a municipal entity, such as a city or county. At Gould Cooksey Fennell, Our personal injury division has extensive experience representing clients in a wide variety of personal injury cases, including the following.

Motor Vehicle Accidents

Car accidents are the most common type of personal injury accident. Every day, Florida residents become injured in auto accidents due to another driver’s negligent driving. Whether you are a driver, passenger, bicyclist, or pedestrian who has been injured in a collision, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.

Medical Malpractice 

When we go to our doctor or undergo surgery at the hospital, we expect our doctor to treat us with reasonable care. Unfortunately, thousands of Americans become injured in medical malpractice accidents every year. Medical malpractice accidents occur when a doctor fails to treat his or her patients with reasonable care under the circumstances. Medical malpractice includes the following types of cases:

  • Failure to correctly or promptly diagnose a patient
  • Pharmaceutical errors, such as giving the wrong dosage or mixing up a patient’s medication
  • Misdiagnosis of medical conditions
  • Surgical errors, such as leaving a sponge inside a surgery patient or amputating the wrong limb

Premises Liability Lawsuits

Under Florida law, property owners owe their visitors and guests a duty to keep their promises reasonably safe and free from dangerous conditions. If you have been injured on another person’s property because the owner did not maintain it or did not warn you about hazards, you may be able to bring a lawsuit against the owner. Premises liability accidents can happen anywhere from a gas station to a restaurant to a private residence.

Product Liability Cases

Product liability cases involve dangerous or defective products that cause consumers to suffer injuries. Injured victims can bring a lawsuit against the manufacturer, distributor, or retailer of a defective product. Product liability cases include poorly manufactured children’s toys, defective medical devices, and dangerous pharmaceutical drugs. There are several different categories of premises liability lawsuits, including design defects, manufacturing defects, and failure to warn about product dangers.

Wrongful Death Lawyer

Serious personal injury accidents may result in severe injuries, such as spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). In some cases, the victims of personal injury lawsuits never recover, and they pass away from their injuries. Under Florida law, the surviving family members of a personal injury accident victim who passed away can bring a wrongful death lawsuit. 


They can sue the person or company whose negligence caused their loved one’s death. Filing a wrongful death lawsuit will open unique avenues for surviving family members to recover damages. Survivors are entitled to compensation for their loved one’s medical expenses, funeral costs, lost income, loss of consortium, and more.

Why You Need an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer in Florida

If you have been hurt in a personal injury accident, you were probably wondering whether you need an attorney to obtain the compensation you deserve. A personal injury lawyer will take on the responsibility of negotiating with the insurance company and holding them accountable. Instead of receiving many phone calls from insurance adjusters and feeling pressure to settle your case for a low amount, we can handle the process so you can recover what you deserve.

Our team has the financial resources and professional network to investigate your case thoroughly. Personal injury cases are heavily dependent on depositions and evidence. We will interview witnesses, obtain any available video footage, and work with our team of investigators to get to the bottom of what happened in your accident. After we gather evidence that the defendant was at fault for your injuries, we will begin the process of negotiating with the defendant.


Many personal injury lawsuits settle out of court, but if we cannot negotiate a beneficial settlement amount, we will take your case to court. Our trial-ready litigators have extensive experience in the area of personal injury law. We have a proven track record of success during the settlement stage and in court.

Proving Negligence in a Personal Liability Lawsuit

The investigation stage is critical because it allows your attorney to gather evidence of the defendant’s negligence.  As a personal injury plaintiff, you will need to prove that the defendant was at fault and caused your injury. Specifically, you will need to prove that the defendant acted negligently to obtain compensation. 


Defendants are negligent when they fail to use reasonable care under the circumstances. For example, when a driver texts while driving, he or she is engaged in negligent behavior. Our team knows how to investigate cases to gather evidence proving that the defendant’s negligence caused the accident that resulted in your injuries.

Damages In Personal Injury Lawsuits

Successful plaintiffs are entitled to two types of damages, economic damages, and non-economic damages. Economic damages, also called special damages, including the actual cost of medical treatment, future medical expenses, current and future lost earnings, property damage, and other out-of-pocket expenses. Plaintiffs are also entitled to non-economic damages, also called general damages. General damages include emotional distress, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and loss of enjoyment of life. In some cases, plaintiffs are entitled to additional punitive damages.

Consult With a Personal Injury Lawyer Today

If you or your loved one have been injured in a wrongful personal injury lawsuit in Florida, you need an experienced lawyer on your side. Our personal injury lawyers are prepared to help you with your personal injury case by investigating your case and developing a compelling legal strategy. We offer all of our clients a free initial consultation so they can ask us questions, learn more about our law firm, and learn about their legal options. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation.