Definitions, types, damages & deadlines surrounding personal injury cases
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 counts as 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 personal injury 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 a personal 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 personal injury 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 a personal injury can occur include:
- Car crashes
- Slip and fall accidents
- Dog bites & animal attacks
- Poor road maintenance
- At work
- Medical malpractice
- Intentional acts like assault and battery
- Construction accidents
- Things left where others can trip on them
- Injuries because of faulty products
What personal injury damages can a person sue for?
There are 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 for non-economic damages like the pain of your injuries, your emotional distress and your mental anguish. It is not always easy to value non-economic damages, but the law looks at your medical expenses and the severity of your injuries in order to calculate a rough amount.
Time limits and building your personal injury case
When you or a loved one are hurt because of a personal injury, 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 a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to preserve evidence of the accident scene, talk to witnesses and prepare legal documents before the legal deadline.
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 Lorenzo & Lorenzo, our experienced Tampa personal injury attorneys can help you evaluate your case in order to determine your options and make a plan for your recovery. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.