Overview of the Florida Personal Injury Law

florida personal injury law

The impact of neglectful behavior by another individual can be more significant than you might think. To protect yourself, it’s crucial to have a basic understanding of Florida Personal Injury Law. Personal injuries can have a profound impact on your life, causing disruptions and emotional distress. As a victim, you have the right to file a lawsuit to seek justice and fair compensation for your losses. This not only allows you to enforce your rights but also helps you recover from the harm you have suffered.

Overview of Florida Personal Injury Law

Florida Statutes Title XLV and Chapter 768 (Negligence), cover personal injury cases.

Torts can be civil liabilities that result from civilians causing injury to another. These are not intentional crimes but damages can still be incurred.

Negligence is, however, the failure to fulfill a duty that causes severe injury to another person. Neglect tort damages don’t just have to cause physical injury; they can also result in emotional distress, loss of income, and any other permanent damage.

These concepts will help us to understand Florida Personal Injury Law. It is basically a lawsuit when someone causes serious injury to you by their negligence.

Below, we’ll be discussing the other concepts in this Florida law.

1. Florida No-Fault Insurance System

Car accident cases are the most common basis for personal injury claims. It’s valid, however, Florida has a “No-Fault Insurance System” for minor car accidents.

The car insurance company is responsible for paying the costs of an automobile accident. For this purpose, all drivers must have $10,000 of personal injury coverage.

Personal injury coverage covers medical bills and lost income. However, if your injuries are serious or critical you can file a Florida personal injury lawsuit against the person who caused it.

What is a serious injury?

  • Death
  • Permanent injury
  • Permanent and significant disfigurement
  • Significant and permanent losses

Personal injury lawsuits can be filed if the victim is permanently disabled or dies.

2. Product Liability Claims

These are defective or dangerous products that cause injury to customers. Manufacturers are responsible for ensuring that their products are safe to use.

Although it can be difficult to sue big corporations, Florida personal injury attorneys can help you prove your claim if you have enough evidence of damages.

3. Strict Liability for Dog Bites/Attacks 

Florida, unlike other states, has strict liability for dog bites. No matter what the dog’s behavior was in the past, the dog owner will be responsible for an attack. The dog owner should pay for the injuries sustained by the victim. This could include treatment or further assistance.

The state takes into consideration the actions of the victims. If it is proven that the victim was at fault, the state can reduce the dog owner’s liability.

4. Florida Comparative Negligence Rules

This example of reduced liability is the best explanation for the comparative negligence rule. If both parties were involved in the incident, it is likely that one party suffered more.

The victim intentionally trespassed upon the property. Although we can still hold the dog owner responsible, the pure comparative negligence rule states that the victim contributed to his own injuries.

Both parties can agree to lower or adjust the compensation. This applies to many Florida personal injury cases, such as car accidents, malpractice, and others.

A skilled Florida personal injury attorney will often employ expert witnesses and insurance adjusters to convince the court that the damages sought are just and fair.

It is best to speak to your Florida trial lawyers or personal injury attorneys to get the details sorted out and to receive fair compensation. Contact The Black Law Company now for an initial consultation!

What Are the Five Most Common Florida Personal Injury Cases?

These cases do not limit to the ones listed below, but they are the most common personal injury cases in Florida.

1. Auto or Car Accident

Car accidents happen every day. This is why Florida’s “no-fault system” makes perfect sense. Some accidents can cause permanent injury, however, and some are more severe than others.

If the injury is severe, the person at fault should pay for the medical bills and any other damages suffered by the victim.

2. Dog Attacks and Bites

It’s amazing how common dog attacks can be. However, injuries can prove fatal and medical costs can rise unexpectedly.

If the victim of personal injury adheres to the law (e.g., stay on the property with permission, do not harm the dog, don’t let the dog escape, etc.), it is clear that the owner is negligent.

3. Workplace Accidents

Accident-prone work environments include factories and construction sites.

Although many of these cases are covered by insurance companies, others can be considered personal injury. These cases can be complicated. For such clarifications, we recommend that you contact a personal injury attorney. Many personal injury lawyers like The Black Law Company offer free consultations. Call us at 813-321-7380.

4. Cases of Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice, although it shouldn’t, is very common. Florida’s personal injury law allows you to sue for compensation and hold the doctor responsible.

Some victims may not suffer economic damages, but some errors can cause serious complications and increase your medical costs.

To get the details, it is best to speak with a Florida personal injury lawyer. Look for lawyers who offer free case evaluations if money is an issue.

5. Wrongful Death

Wrongful death occurs when a person passes away due to injuries sustained from an accident or incident. In Florida, a personal injury lawyer can help the victim’s family and loved ones recover damages for their loss. If the victim was the primary breadwinner of the family, the compensation can be higher due to the severe financial impact on the family.

NOTE: These cases should not be considered intentional

For personal injury cases to be considered, it is important to recognize that many of these cases were not intentionally made. It’s considered a criminal case if it’s intentional.

There are two types of negligence: criminal negligence and civil negligence. These cases are both civil negligences in which the wrongdoer was only careless.

A criminal negligence case involves a situation where the person responsible was aware of the potential harm but proceeded with their actions anyway. On the other hand, personal injury cases are based on civil negligence, which refers to situations where someone is found to be at fault for an accident or injury due to their failure to exercise reasonable care.

What Are the Qualifications for a Personal Injury Claim?

Negligence must be proved in order to establish the enforceability and validity of a personal injury claim. These components are what we search for in order to determine if a personal injury case is valid.

To make it more understandable, let’s use the example of a pet owner.

1. Breached Duty to Care

The breached duty to care is the main element.

This proves that the defendant (wrongdoer), had a duty but failed to perform it, causing personal injuries to the plaintiff (victim).

Pet owners should ensure that their pet is kept on a leash and the gates are closed. If they forget, the pet may escape their home and attack a civilian.

Although the owner was responsible for their pets’ safety, they were negligent. They breached their duty to care.

2. Victims Suffer Damages

The personal injury must also be shown. The victim must show proof of the loss, including medical bills and income losses due to the inability to work.

There can also be other non-economic consequences, such as mental health problems. The victim may have a fear of dogs and is unable to perform everyday tasks.

It is best to preserve as much evidence as possible. Photograph the accident scene and take detailed notes. Then, turn the documents over to your Florida personal injury lawyer or law firm.

3. Breached Duty to Care Is the Main Cause of Damages

Another important element is the direct relationship between the breached duty and the damages suffered.

The victim’s injuries should be evidence that the attack was dog-related. The best evidence is what the victim actually got, or any wounds that didn’t exist before.

If an injury was pre-existing and had no connection to the animal, the victim cannot hold the defendant responsible for it. However, the victim may argue that the animal attack caused their existing injuries to worsen. For example, a dog attack may cause a person to stumble again after previously sustaining a fractured leg.

These cases have many nuances and loopholes. A personal injury lawyer will help you to resolve your case.

4. Reasonable Care

After proving that these elements are compatible and valid, the defendant will be responsible for providing appropriate medical care and compensating the victim.

Compensation must be fair and relevant to the circumstances. The victim can’t ask for unreasonable compensation or demand absurd returns.

Florida Personal Injury Lawsuit

If you’re considering filing a personal injury lawsuit in Florida, here are some important facts to keep in mind.

Damages in a Personal Injury Lawsuit

It is important to have evidence in lawsuits. It is essential that the facts of a case be proved beyond a preponderance. If you are involved in a personal injury case, it is important to collect as much evidence as you can. These are some great examples:

Medical Bills

All hospital bills for treatments, checkups, and surgeries should be collected. If your case is valid, you will be compensated fairly.

Medical expenses are another indicator of the extent of your suffering. A victim who was rushed to the ICU after suffering a fatal injury, for example, is proof that it was fatal.

You’ll still have to pay the agreed amount even if your insurance company pays a portion or all of it.

Projected Bills

It is also useful to provide price quotes for future expenses. These are reasonable projected expenses you will incur as a result of your injury claim. This will prove that you are unable to attend to certain issues and will aid your case.

Lost Financial Opportunities

You can seek lost income compensation if the injury has caused you to lose your job or cause you to be unemployed.

We all understand the importance of financial income to pay bills and necessities. Losing it will have a significant impact on your ability to live comfortably.

You may also be able to prove that you are the primary provider of your household’s income. The loss of money will affect not only you but also your entire family.

Inability to Work

Some injuries can be permanent (paralysis, loss of bodily functions, etc.). The victim is unable to work again. You may demand a reasonable provision to cover the loss of opportunities or other complications that could occur.

Physical Damage

The easiest to prove are physical damages. You can present the injuries, fractures, medical records, and hospital bills. You can also show documents from your insurance company.

Emotional Distress

It can be difficult to show emotional distress, unlike physical symptoms. You can provide evidence such as therapist prescriptions, witness accounts, evidence of episodes, and other tangible pieces.

However, depending on the circumstances, it is possible to prove emotional turmoil.

Negative Effects on Personal Life

Personal injuries can have a negative impact on a person’s life. A good example is the loss of consortium, in which spouses are unable to provide intimacy for their partner.

Another example is the impact on family life. Parents may not be able to perform their duties and spend time with their children. These cases will be more difficult to prove so a personal injury lawyer is a great help.

Statute of Limitations

Florida’s statute of limitations in personal injury cases is four (4) years.

The statute of limitations refers to the time that your case is valid. You have four (4) years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit against the defendant. Three (3) years are available for filing a lawsuit against a government agency.

There are exceptions to these deadlines. Sometimes, extensions may be granted by the court. The maximum limitation period is seven (7) years. These are the exceptions.

Late Discovery of the Injury

In some cases, the injury may not be apparent immediately. Although the victim may have been in good health at the time of the accident, they could later develop an internal problem or long-term trauma.

In these cases, a 2-year extension is granted. With the assistance of professionals and documents from insurance companies, doctors can quickly prove your case. If the victim is unable to discover the injuries due to fraud, the extension will be extended.

Absence of Defendant

The victim would be granted an extension if the defendant fled Florida and did not face the case. For fleeing, the victim may face additional penalties.

Victims in Incapacity

A victim who is incapacitated cannot file a personal injury suit immediately, especially if they are mentally incapacitated. In these cases, the victim might be allowed to file a lawsuit sooner.

However, the maximum period of incapacity is still seven years. The family can take action on behalf of the victim if the mental effect is severe enough to render him permanently incapacitated.

Damage Caps

Florida law also tries to protect the defendants. The severity of personal injury claims may limit the amount of damage that can be paid.

Non-economic damages are often covered by damage caps, as they are “intangible” (and more difficult to measure).

It is primarily enforced to restrict punitive damages ($500,000) to defendants in order to prevent similar acts from happening again.

It serves as a lesson to all and a foundation for future cases of similar nature. These principles apply to unusual and “bizarre” issues.

What to Do After a Personal Injury in Florida

You don’t have to worry about the legal details. However, there are ways you can help make your case easier.

Step 1: Collect Evidence

Because you are directly involved, you can gather evidence that could be used later for legal purposes.

This is about documenting the accident scene (taking photos, videos, and recordings) and compiling paperwork.

It can be used in both directions. This can be used by both the defendant and the plaintiff.

Remember, everyone is innocent until proven guilty. Defendants can still prove that they contributed to the accident.

Safety should always be the first priority when collecting evidence. If the victim has suffered serious injuries, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.

Step 2: Speak to a Personal Injury Lawyer

The Black Law Company can assist you with these cases by providing legal representation from a personal injury lawyer. Our attorneys have extensive knowledge of the technicalities involved in these types of cases and can offer guidance on the best course of action for your situation. 

Step 3: File the Case ASAP

You must file your case as soon as you become aware that compensation is required. You must not exceed the four-year statute of limitations. The exemptions do not apply to all.

Florida Personal Injury Law FAQs

Let’s look at some common questions asked about Florida personal injury.

What Is the Maximum Amount You Can Sue for Florida Pain and Suffering?

The courts decide the amount of pain and suffering. There is no single amount. It will depend on the amount of your medical bills and other damages.

If the injuries sustained are severe and critical, it could reach into the millions.

What Is the Maximum Time I Can File a Personal Injury Claim?

You have four (4) years in which to file a personal injury lawsuit. Some exemptions are eligible for extensions: Late discovery of an injury, absence of the defendant, or incapacitated victim.

The maximum time period is seven (7) years. If you have the opportunity, your lawyer can help extend the 4-year statute.

Can You Sue for Personal Injury?

Yes. You can sue Florida for personal injury under Title XLV (torts), and Chapter 768 (negligence) of the Florida Statutes.

These laws are intended to protect all parties and provide fair solutions for plaintiffs and defendants.

Conclusion

We aim for you to better comprehend personal injury laws with the help of this guide. Its purpose is to simplify complicated terms and offer you the necessary aid. Despite the daunting nature of lawsuits, Florida’s laws are in place to safeguard your rights. We wish you the best of luck!

Contact The Black Law Company today to receive expert legal assistance for your case. Our experienced team of attorneys is dedicated to advocating for your rights and securing the best outcome possible. Don’t wait, schedule your consultation now and let us help you navigate the legal process with confidence.

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