What You Should Do if You Are Injured in the State of Florida
If you’ve sustained an injury in Florida and believe another person, multiple people, or an entity’s negligence is responsible, you may be entitled to compensation based on Florida personal injury laws. If another party’s carelessness is found to be the cause of your injury, the party can be held financially accountable for a variety of expenses, losses, and difficulties resulting from the injury.
If you sustain a personal injury in the state, review the following overview of Florida personal injury laws and contact a personal injury attorney right away.
What to do Following an Accident
If your injury just occurred, certain steps and documentation help build the strongest case possible according to Florida personal injury laws.
Begin by writing down as detailed an accounting of the accident as possible and taking dated photographs of all visible harm and property damage. Get contact information from any witnesses to the accident and promptly file a report with the appropriate authority (such as a local police department or animal control association). Also, consult a personal injury lawyer before providing any information to any representative of an insurance carrier.
If the injury is not recent, note that there’s a four year statute of limitations in most instances, as per Florida personal injury laws. This means you can’t legally pursue damages more than four years after the date of the incident. Some situations have shorter statutes of limitations, such as boating accidents that occur on the Gulf of Mexico or Atlantic Ocean.
To be awarded compensation under Florida personal injury laws, you must demonstrate that another party’s negligence was responsible. This entails proving the party failed in a duty to protect you, that this failure caused your injury, and that you incurred costs or suffered as a result.
The situation is different with vehicular accidents because Florida is a no-fault state. All drivers must carry a personal injury protection insurance policy and the car insurance companies pay for injuries and damage.
However, Florida personal injury laws do permit you to file a lawsuit if your injuries are serious. They’re considered serious if they result in permanent loss of a significant bodily function, permanent injury or disfigurement, or death.
What Compensation Is Offered
Florida personal injury laws allow for a number of damages. You may be entitled to compensation for past, present, and future medical costs directly related to your injury, as well as for costs associated with receiving medical treatment. Compensation may be granted for lost wages, too, if you are unable to work or must miss work for medical treatment.
Also, you may receive compensation for damaged property, permanent disability or disfigurement, physical and emotional suffering, extra expenses incurred if your injury left you unable to perform essential tasks, loss of consortium (disruption to familial relationships), and any other costs clearly associated with your injury.
Issues of Blame
If more than one person or party is responsible for your injury, Florida personal injury laws set up a specific structure for assigning financial liability. A party found to be less than 10 percent responsible doesn’t have reimbursement obligation; a party 10 to 25 percent responsible may be held accountable for up to $500,000 in damages; a party 26 to 50 percent responsible may be held accountable for up to $1 million in damages; and a party more than 50 percent responsible may be held accountable for up to $2 million in damages.
Sometimes, you are found to be partially responsible for your injury. In such cases, the total amount to which you are entitled is lowered and the other party or parties’ maximum monetary responsibility is reduced.
If a product caused your injury, your lawsuit becomes a product liability case rather than a personal injury case. A personal injury lawyer is still the correct person to contact, to discuss your case.