The phrase personal injury is common in both medical and legal parlance. You most likely have come across this term severely but have not understood what it means. In Florida, several persons who do not know what personal injury means have gone ahead to sue wrongly and wasted time and funds.
In Florida, thousands of cases arise yearly due to personal injury. You have to know and understand what personal injury entails to exercise your rights properly. However, the lack of the requisite understanding has left the victims of personal injury uncompensated. This article aims to make sure you do not fall under that category of persons as it will help enlighten you better on personal injury in Florida.
What is Personal Injury?
In simple terms, when you are physically injured due to another person’s action, then personal injury can be said to have occurred. Usually, the negligent act of the other person or even the person’s non-action leads to you getting injured.
Personal injury may come in different forms, such as traffic accidents, product liability, medical malpractice, falls on a slippery floor, and several others. Where you are not certain if the situation you are in is a case of personal injury, the best option would be to get in touch with a personal injury attorney in Florida.
Usually, it is advisable to do the following when you are injured as a result of another person’s actions:
- Report the incident immediately
- Collect as much information as possible. Information about the person who caused the injury, eyewitnesses, if they are any, and their names and addresses.
- If you can, take snapshots of the scene where the incident occurred.
- Get across to your insurance company.
- Head over to a hospital and get yourself checked for any severe damage to your body. In Florida, serious injury includes; permanent injury, Death, substantial or permanent scarring, and significant casualty to physical function.
Elements of Personal Injury in (What You Must Prove)
Generally, before you become entitled to compensation for your alleged personal injury, you must be able to show the existence of 3 things. Failure to prove them will deny you the right to sue for damages against the person you claim caused the injury. They are:
Duty of care
You can only place liability on a person who has been entrusted with the duty to perform an act and fails to do it. For this reason, this is the first thing you must prove to succeed in your claim for damages for personal injury.
You have to prove that the person who you claim to have caused it does, in fact, owe you a duty of care to act carefully and reasonably. An example of this is a driver’s duty of care to other road users to drive carefully, obey the road rules and not put others in danger while driving.
Breach of the Duty of Care
It is not enough that the person in question owes you a duty of care. The duty must have also been breached. The victim must show that the person accused did not carry out the duty bestowed upon them. When a driver drives recklessly and dangerously on the road putting other persons in great danger.
Cause and Effect of the Duty of Care
The third thing that an alleged victim of a personal injury must show is the other person’s failure to carry out the duty, which resulted in the personal injury. You must prove that the person alleged to be at fault is the cause of the injury you sustained.
Where the above 3 elements are present and proven, a victim of personal injury can successfully claim damages in a suit against the party at fault.
How Does Personal Injury Work in Florida?
Florida runs a no-fault Policy for the drivers. This law mandates every driver in Florida to obtain personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. This encompasses their vehicle insurance and will indemnify them of the cost of any damage of at least $10,000. The implication is that where for example, an accident occurs, the insurance will cover the costs irrespective of which party is at fault.
However, although this law exists in Florida, it does not affect the party’s liability at fault in the case of a personal injury. The victim of personal injury can still sue for damages resulting from the negligent actions of another driver.
In Florida, you do not have the luxury of time to sue and claim damages for a personal injury. You have four years from the date of the accident to file a claim. date the alleged personal injury occurred. This is otherwise known as the statute of limitation. The court will not entertain any personal injury matter in Florida if you bring it 4 years after the injury occurred. This is why it is necessary to reach out to a personal injury attorney in Florida instantly when an incident occurs.
There are situations where the personal injury Florida statute of limitations may not apply. Examples are; where the party at fault flees Florida, where the consequence of the incident manifests years after it occurred, and where the party at fault cannot raise a defense because of mental instability. In the case of a situation like the first example, the deadline to sue will be extended from 4 years to 2 years from the date the injury is discovered. Where the defendant is mentally unstable, time will begin to run when they recover.
Who is a Personal Injury Attorney?
A personal injury attorney is simply a legal practitioner specializing in handling personal injury matters. They assist persons who suffer wounds in accidents caused by another to get compensated accordingly for it.
Why You Need a Personal Injury Attorney in Florida
When you sustain an injury, and you wish to claim damages against the other party, you will need the services of not just any attorney but a personal injury attorney in particular. A personal injury attorney will;
- Investigate the incident which led to the personal injury
- Deduce the party at fault
- Find out if there is any insurance coverage.
- Send over a letter to the insurance company requesting indemnity on your behalf.
- Negotiate on your behalf.
- Take up the matter to court if the need arises.
Because a personal injury attorney specializes in personal injury cases only, they have attained a level of expertise in this area and are best suited to help you. This, amongst other reasons, is why you should not hesitate to reach out to a personal injury attorney. To get connected with a reliable and reasonable personal injury attorney in Florida, contact Attorney Matching Services.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)
Q: Does damage to my property also fall under personal injury in Florida?
Ans: No, a personal injury concerns only physical injuries to the body. However, damage to your property may also fall under a personal injury if there was physical harm too in the process.
Q: Can I sue another person in court for the pain and suffering resulting from a personal injury in Florida?
Ans: Yes, you can. Personal injury may also affect the mind or emotions, and so the court may grant you non-economic damages.
Q: Can I sue a company for a personal injury?
Ans: Yes, you can. You can sue a company and even the government for damages for personal injury you sustained due to their negligent actions.
Q: Can I file a personal injury claim after 4 years?
Ans: No, you cannot. The case will be dismissed in court upon arrival.
Q: What if the accident was partially my fault?
Ans: Where the accident which led to the personal injury is partly your fault, you may still be entitled to compensation. This is because the proximate negligence rule is in operation in Florida. This means you are still entitled to compensation even if you also caused the accident.
Q: How long will it take to get compensated for personal injury in Florida?
Ans: With the help of a good personal injury attorney, approximately one month.
Get in touch with a good personal injury attorney today through Attorney Matching Services and be a step closer to becoming compensated.