Florida Personal Injury
If you suffered personal injuries in an accident in Florida and it was someone else's fault, you may be entitled to compensation from the person at fault or from his or her insurance company.
Types of Personal Injuries
Personal injury generally refers to mental and physical injuries to a person's body that are caused by someone else's negligence. These injuries may be minor or may be so severe as to cause the person's death. Personal injury does not include damage or destruction to your property (such as your car or house).
Personal injuries can occur in any number of ways, but causes often include:
- Automobile accidents
- Boating accidents
- Dog bites
- Medical malpractice
- Motorcycle accidents
- Nursing home abuse
- Railroad accidents
- Sexual abuse
- Slip-and-fall accidents
- Trucking accidents
How Is Fault Determined?
To collect money stemming from a personal injury claim, Florida law requires you to prove that another party was negligent. You must show:
- The party that caused your injuries had a responsibility not to injure you and failed to live up to that duty
- There is a connection between the other party's responsibility and your injury
- You suffered damages, or a financial loss, as a result of the accident
Florida law will reduce the total amount you can recover if it's found that your carelessness contributed to your injuries.
Types of Florida Personal Injury Compensation
If it's determined that another party's negligence was responsible for your injuries, they may be required to pay for:
- Past, present, and future medical bills for treatment related to your injuries
- The repair or replacement of any property that was damaged or destroyed in the accident
- Lost wages for time off from work (including time spent going to doctor's appointments and physical therapy)
- The cost of hiring someone to do household chores that you're unable to do because of your injury
- Permanent disability and disfigurement stemming from the accident
- Emotional distress stemming from the accident
- Any other costs you've incurred because of the accident
If you were injured because of a crime committed by someone else, that person may be prosecuted under Florida criminal laws. In the case of other accidents, you may ultimately have to file a personal injury lawsuit in Florida courts.
How Long Do You Have to File a Claim?
Florida law gives you four years from the date of your personal injury to file a claim against the party at fault. (This is known as the statute of limitations.) If you and your Florida personal injury lawyer are unable to negotiate a settlement with the other party (or their insurance company), you should consider filing a lawsuit before the statute of limitations runs out.
If your injury claim is for $15,000 or less, you should file your personal injury lawsuit in the Florida County Court that has jurisdiction. For injury claims worth more than $15,000, you would file your lawsuit in the appropriate Florida Circuit Court.