Young Caucasian girl with broken leg in plaster cast suffered personal injury

What is Florida Personal Injury Law?

If you are suddenly and seriously hurt in an accident, you might start hearing medical professionals and friends and family use the phrase “personal injury.” From a legal standpoint, personal injury refers to a type of lawsuit through which a victim or their families can obtain compensation when they get hurt because of the negligent actions of another person.

Florida personal injury law allows victims to recover certain damages when they are hurt because of the negligence of another person or company, or when they are intentionally harmed.

What is considered a personal injury?

A personal injury occurs when a person suffers a physical injury. It is considered a personal injury when an injury occurs to someone’s physical body rather than to their property. A personal injury can also include damage to property, but it must also involve physical harm.

A personal injury lawsuit is a court case to hold someone accountable for causing someone else’s personal injuries. Florida law allows the injured person to demand that the responsible party pay for their losses. A successful lawsuit results in a payment to the victim for their injuries and damages.

What is Florida negligence law?

Florida negligence laws allow a person to recover when they suffer an injury at the hands of someone else. A person can recover under a theory of negligence or strict liability.

Negligence means that the person that caused the injury did not act in a way that a reasonably careful person would have acted in the same situation. To win a negligence case, you must prove that the other party had a duty to act carefully, that they breached this duty, that you suffered injuries and that your injuries directly occurred because of their failure to act carefully.

If you can prove that these things are true, Florida law allows you to collect fair damages for your losses.

What are the different types of personal injury cases?

A personal injury case can arise anytime a person’s action or inaction hurts someone else. For example, if a store owner fails to repair a faulty step or properly clean a spill, it can result in a lawsuit. If a store owner places racks too close together in a store in a way that causes harm to a shopper, it may also count as personal injury.

Some of the ways that personal injuries can occur include:

  • Car crashes
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Dog bites & animal attacks
  • Medical malpractice
  • Intentional acts like assault and battery
  • Construction accidents
  • Injuries because of faulty products

What damages can a person sue for?

There is a wide range of damages available in Florida personal injury cases. Most cases start by asking for compensation for a plaintiff’s economic damages like medical bills. Follow-up appointments, rehabilitative care and even mobility aids are also included. For instance, if you need help doing household tasks or caring for your family because of your injuries, you can ask for compensation for that too.

In addition to your actual out-of-pocket expenses, you can ask for compensation. This compensation can cover non-economic damages such as the pain of your injuries, your emotional distress, and your mental anguish. Valuing non-economic damages can be challenging, but law considers your medical expenses and injury severity to estimate a rough amount.

Time limits and building your personal injury case

When you or a loved one are hurt, you have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit in the correct court system. In most Florida injury cases; the time limit is four years from the date of your injury. There are reasons that the deadline may be shorter or longer in some cases.

It is very important you begin working with an attorney as soon as possible to preserve evidence of the accident scene, talk to witnesses and prepare legal documents before the legal deadline.

Handling an Auto Accident Case

Here are some guide on how to handle auto accident case.

Preparation Before an Accident

Review your auto insurance policy to understand your coverage, including liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage. Add Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage if it’s not already included, as PIP covers medical expenses, lost wages, and other costs regardless of fault. Equip your vehicle with a dash cam to record the road while driving, as it can provide crucial evidence in the event of an accident. Familiarize yourself with your smartphone’s camera and video functions for documenting accidents.

Steps to Take Immediately After an Accident

First, check yourself and passengers for injuries. Call emergency services immediately if anyone is seriously injured. Move to a safe location if possible, but do not leave the scene of the accident.

Document the accident by taking clear photographs of all vehicles involved from multiple angles. Capture the overall scene, including traffic signals, road conditions, and any skid marks. If possible, record a video walkthrough of the scene.

Collect contact information from any witnesses, including names and phone numbers, and ask witnesses to provide written or recorded statements if they are willing. Exchange information with the other driver(s), including names, addresses, phone numbers, driver’s license numbers, and insurance details. Note the make, model, color, and license plate number of the other vehicle(s).

Contact the police to report the accident, as a police report can be valuable for insurance claims and legal proceedings. Notify your insurance company as soon as possible to start the claims process.

If you are injured, seek medical attention immediately. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent, so it’s crucial to seek prompt medical care even if the injuries seem minor. Visit a healthcare provider within 14 days to activate your PIP coverage, which covers medical expenses and related costs.

Follow the treatment plan prescribed by your healthcare provider, which may include follow-up visits, physical therapy, or other medical interventions based on the severity of your injuries.

Post-Accident Considerations

If disputes about fault or significant injuries arise, consult with an attorney who specializes in auto accidents. An attorney can guide you through legal processes, negotiate with insurance companies, and secure fair compensation for you.

Keep detailed records of all medical treatments and expenses. Document any communications with insurance companies and any changes in your physical condition or ability to work due to the accident. Work closely with your insurance company and provide all requested documentation promptly. Be aware of the timeline for filing claims and any potential deadlines that could affect your coverage.

Importance of Proper Documentation and Medical Attention

Properly document the accident and seek timely medical attention to establish fault, secure your insurance benefits, and ensure you receive the necessary care and compensation. By following these steps, you protect your rights and interests in the aftermath of an auto accident.

Getting the compensation, you deserve

A personal injury lawsuit is a way for victims to get the compensation they deserve when they or a loved one are hurt due to negligence. Under Florida’s strict liability law, the negligent person is only responsible for paying for the percentage of damages they cause.

At JIMENEZ MAZZITELLI & MORDES, our experienced attorneys can help you evaluate your case in order to determine your options. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.

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