You can know if you have a personal injury case in Florida if you have evidence to back up your claim.
If your injury came due to someone else’s negligence or intentional actions, you have a valid case.
What Are the Signs That You Have a Good Chance at Winning Your Florida Personal Injury Lawsuit?
There are different signs that may signify you have a good chance of winning a Florida personal injury lawsuit. They are that the defendant admitted to fault, you suffered severe injuries, the defendant has a history of similar events, you are diligent in pursuing your case and the incident occurred within the past four years.
When the Defendant Admits to Fault
One of the easiest ways to know that you have a good chance of winning a personal injury claim is that the defendant has admitted to being at fault. In that situation, you don’t have to fight to get the defendant to make an admission because they are already open and honest.
The Strength of Camera Footage
If the incident that left you injured was captured on camera, it strengthens your claim considerably. Camera footage shows what really happened so that there is no question about the events.
You Sustained Severe Injuries
Severe injuries are a clear indication that you have a legitimate reason to file a personal injury claim. In addition to the defendant admitting to fault and camera footage showing the incident, your injuries themselves can help increase the chances of a successful lawsuit.
History of Similar Events
If the defendant has a history of similar events, it can only strengthen your personal injury claim. For example, if your injuries stem from a car accident caused by the defendant through reckless driving, distracted driving, driving under the influence (DUI) or speeding and the person has a history of traffic violations through one of those issues, you can more easily prove your case.
You Are Pursuing Your Case with Perseverance
When you pursue your personal injury case diligently and with perseverance, you have a greater chance of it being successful. Depending on the circumstances and each individual plaintiff, the factors involved in a personal injury claim can sometimes be complex and frustrating, which could cause a feeling of helplessness and the desire to give up. However, if you forge on, it can help your case.
The Situation Leading to Your Injuries Occurred within the Past Four Years
Most Florida personal injury cases carry a four-year statute of limitations. As a result, if the accident or incident that led to your injuries occurred within the past four years, you have a better chance of a successful claim. The only exceptions are if your claim is filed against a government entity or if it involves medical malpractice.
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What Should You Know About Florida Personal Injury Lawsuits?
There are different types of personal injury lawsuits you can pursue in Florida. It’s important to understand that Florida runs on a no-fault insurance system that can impact certain types of claims such as car accidents. In addition to car accident personal injury lawsuits, other claims involve product liability and strict liability for dog bites or attacks.
Florida also operates on comparative negligence rules. You must also be familiar with the state’s statute of limitations for these types of claims to ensure that your case has a good chance of being heard.
What to Know About Florida’s No-Fault Insurance System
Florida uses a no-fault insurance system, which means that if you are filing a personal injury claim for injuries sustained in a car accident, you must do so through your own auto insurance policy. All drivers are required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) coverage at a minimum of $10,000 and property damage liability (PDL) coverage at a minimum of $10,000.
Understanding Product Liability Claims
Product liability claims apply when you have suffered injuries after using a product that contains a defect in its design or manufacture or when a warning should have been included in its user manual about the dangers of using such product. If you use a product the way it was intended to be used and an accident or incident occurs that leaves you injured, you have the right to file an injury claim.
Understanding Strict Liability for Dog Bites/Animal Attacks
Strict liability applies in personal injury claims stemming from dog bites or animal attacks. This means that the animal’s owner is automatically liable for any injuries caused to a victim even if their pet had never exhibited aggression or bitten anyone in the past. In other words, if the dog or other animal bites or attacks even a single person and causes injuries, the owner can be held liable. This differs from the one-bite rule other states follow where the owner is liable as long as their pet bit or attacked someone once in the future.
When the Clock Begins Running on Personal Injury Claims
The statute of limitations in personal injury claims is four years. This means that the clock starts running on the date of the accident or incident or the date when the person became aware of their injuries. It means that they must file their claim with the court within that time period if they want to have their case heard and potentially recover compensation for their injuries and other damages.
What Are the Key Factors in a Personal Injury Case?
There are certain key factors in any personal injury case. They include liability, causation, damages and the statute of limitations.
What Is Liability?
Liability in a personal injury claim refers to the responsibility or fault of the defendant.
What Does Causation Mean?
Causation refers to the specific cause by which the accident or incident leading to your injuries occurred.
Understanding Damages in a Personal Injury Claim
Personal injury claims involve different types of damages, economic and noneconomic. Economic damages are those such as medical expenses, lost wages and property damage, all of which carry specific monetary costs. Noneconomic damages are the opposite because they can’t be measured by a set financial cost. They include damages like pain and suffering, emotional distress and mental anguish.
Understanding the Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations can vary in personal injury cases based on the specifics of your case. Most of these claims have a four-year time limit for filing a lawsuit. However, medical malpractice and claims against a government entity have shorter statutes of limitations, two years and three years, respectively.
Types of Compensation Available in a Florida Personal Injury Case
You may be entitled to different types of compensation in your Florida personal injury case. You can recover compensation for damages like medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and emotional distress.
Your Medical Bills
Your medical bills are among the key damages available in a personal injury claim. Many victims accumulate significant out-of-pocket expenses related to medical attention and ongoing medical treatment. These costs can be reimbursed as part of your eventual settlement.
Your Lost Wages
Often, suffering a personal injury in an accident or other incident requires the plaintiff to lose time from work when they have to rest and recuperate. The person’s employer can attest to how much time they missed and how much money they have lost in wages by providing a letter showing the numbers.
Pain and Suffering Damages
Pain and suffering damages are not as easy to calculate because they are considered noneconomic. They relate to the physical pain and discomfort the plaintiff has suffered as a result of their injuries and the mental pain caused by the accident or incident and the victim’s subsequent injuries.
Emotional Distress Damages
Emotional distress is part of the noneconomic damages in a personal injury claim. It can be claimed when the emotional and mental effects the victim has suffered as a result of their injuries are so severe, they interfere with their everyday life, regular routine and activities.
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Are You Ready to Speak with an Attorney?
If you have suffered injuries after an accident or other incident caused by the negligence or reckless actions of another person, you will probably want to file a personal injury claim. Before doing so, it’s wise to find a personal injury attorney. Although you may not know where to start, there are good ways to learn more about the lawyer and determine whether they are the right fit for you. When meeting, ask about their success rate and ask for referrals from family members, friends and acquaintances. You will also want to know about the attorney’s contingency fee rate and choose someone you get along with who works in a professional office. Meet with several personal injury lawyers before ultimately hiring the one who will represent you.
Learn About the Lawyer’s Success Rate
A lawyer’s success rate is essential when you have a personal injury claim. You want to ensure that you hire someone who has the right credentials and a good track record when it comes to these types of cases because it improves your chances of success.
Ask for Referrals for Attorneys
Talk to those close to you who have gone through their own lawsuits. Even if they didn’t have a personal injury case, chances are that their attorneys know personal injury lawyers with good reputations. This type of networking can go a long way in helping you find the best attorney to represent you in your case.
Contingency Fee-Based Work
Personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, which means they only get paid if you win your case. In that situation, they take a percentage of your settlement as their fee. If you don’t win your case, you don’t have to pay.
Ensuring That You Mesh with Your Attorney
It’s a mistake to hire just any attorney to handle your personal injury case. It helps when you hire someone who not only has the experience and reputation needed to represent you, but your personalities should also mesh. If you get along, your case has a much higher chance of success.
Choose Someone from a Professional Office
The best attorneys work at professional offices that give you a good first impression. You don’t want to hire a lawyer who works in their cramped, damp basement. However, even those who work in a professional office should be well organized.
Interview Several Personal Injury Attorneys
The best way to find a personal injury attorney is to interview several and whittle down your choices. You might want to select three potential lawyers you’re considering hiring and then weigh out your thoughts about each before deciding on the one who should represent you in your case.
How Do I Know if I Have a Personal Injury?
You can tell that you have a personal injury if you have physical injuries that have affected your daily life and activities. The incident that caused your injuries must have been caused by negligence on the part of the defendant. Personal injury means you have not only suffered an injury itself, but you have also suffered losses as a result.
What Is Considered Personal Injury in Florida?
In Florida, injuries caused by a variety of accidents or incidents fall under the category of personal injury. They include injuries caused by car accidents, workplace accidents, dog bites, slip-and-fall accidents, product liability and defective products, construction accidents, toxic exposure, elder abuse and nursing home abuse or neglect and wrongful death.
What Is the Difference Between Bodily Injury and Personal Injury in Florida?
Bodily injury refers to an injury that protects you through liability insurance if you cause injuries to another person. Meanwhile, personal injury is an injury that allows you to hold the at-fault party liable in a civil action to recover compensation for your damages.
How Does a Personal Injury Claim Work in Florida?
In Florida, a personal injury claim is often settled between the parties through the at-fault person’s insurance coverage. In some cases, if negotiations don’t result in a settlement, the plaintiff can file a lawsuit with the court so that a jury can decide the outcome. When a case reaches trial, the jury can also decide whether punitive damages should be awarded to the plaintiff as a way to punish the defendant for outrageous, egregious actions that caused the incident.