Navigating the world of personal injury claims in Florida can be confusing as injuries resulting from an accident can vary widely, ranging from minor bruising and scarring to spinal cord injuries to effects on relationships and more.
If you have been injured in an accident in Florida, seeking professional legal aid can help you wade through the complexities of personal injury law and experience a greater chance of recovering damages.
List Of Accidents And Incidents That Lead To A Personal Injury Claim
The type of situation that can lead to a personal injury is virtually limitless. Because of this, there is a vast range of incidents which can result in personal injury claims.
Here is a list of the most common accidents and incidents in Florida which can lead to a personal injury claim:
- assault and battery
- slips and falls
- bicycle accidents
- dog bites
- car accidents
- rideshare accidents
- trucking accidents
- medical malpractice
- premises liability
- product liability
- work-related incidents
- wrongful death
What Is The Law On Personal Injury In Florida?
To prove a personal injury claim in Florida, it’s first necessary to gain a better understanding of laws in the state which affect personal injury claims. Florida law on personal injury is comprised of two statutes: comparative negligence and damage caps.
While understanding the Florida law on personal injury can seem complicated, it really comes down to one concept: if the party filing for a personal injury claim was at fault or if they can prove the other party was at fault. If the filing party is awarded damages for their claim, it’s then important to understand about damage caps.
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How To Defend A Personal Injury Claim In Florida: Understanding Negligence
When defending a personal injury claim in Florida, the first step is to determine the at-fault party. Determining the at-fault party helps decide if negligence was involved.
If you have suffered an injury from an incident in Florida, winning your claim largely depends on whether your lawyer can prove negligence on behalf of the opposing party.
This is why it is so important both to have an excellent Florida personal injury attorney and to be completely transparent with them from the beginning. The more details you share about your case, the stronger your claim can become if the other party is at fault.
Negligence is perhaps the most important factor to consider when reviewing a personal injury claim. If you were at fault in any way for the incident, this will affect the amount of damages you can recover.
However, if you and your Florida lawyer can prove the opposing party was at fault, this can strengthen your claim and improve the chances of recovering damages.
To be considered at-fault, it must be proven that the defendant acted unreasonably and that those actions led to the incident or accident, causing the injury due to negligence.
Consideration of negligence in personal injury cases in Florida is broken into three parts: Duty of Care, Breach of Duty, and Causation.
1. Duty of Care — Duty of Care is a concept which holds that each person has a responsibility to others— this responsibility includes not placing them in harm’s way or causing them injury. While this seems like a straightforward concept, details regarding how far this obligation reaches can become complicated.
For example, if someone owns a business with faulty flooring, such as a broken step, they must take reasonable action to correct this issue. If they do not take reasonable action (i.e. blocking off the area and hanging a warning sign) and a personal injury results, they could be found at fault.
2. Breach of Duty — Breach of Duty is established once it is determined that someone had a duty of care toward another and failed to take action to uphold that level of care.
Again, this can be tricky. If the business owner did not block off the faulty flooring area, but put up a sign, can they still be considered negligent? It is up to the court to decide and hinges on whether their actions (or lack of action) led to a dangerous situation which resulted in harming another.
3. Causation — If duty of care and breach of duty can be proved, it is then necessary to prove that an accident or injury resulted from that breach of duty. Since what is considered “reasonable” action varies widely, proving causation can be complex.
Further, someone could be negligent in an incident and still not be considered responsible. If the business owner put up a sign, but you failed to read it, slipped and fell, resulting in a back injury, then he may be at fault. However, he may still not be considered negligible since he did take some precautions to warn you of the issue.
Or, the court may decide he did not take reasonable steps to avoid an incident since he failed to block off the faulty area. Proving causation is perhaps the most complicated part of any personal injury case, which is why having an excellent Florida attorney is crucial.
If your Florida personal injury lawyer is able to prove negligence and you are awarded compensation for your claim, it is important to understand that the state of Florida imposes damage caps for personal injury cases.
This means there is a limit to the amount that can be recovered for most personal injury claims. An excellent attorney will be straightforward with you from the beginning regarding the strength of your claim and the amount you can reasonably pursue.
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Filing A Florida Personal Injury Claim: A Step-By-Step Guide
If you are struggling with an injury, knowing the correct steps to take following your accident can be daunting. Knowing how to file a claim, who to file a claim against, and dealing with insurance companies can be difficult and is not a process you’ll want to face alone.
An experienced Florida personal injury attorney can ease this process with expert advisement and assistance.
Here is a step-by-step guide to what happens when you file a Florida personal injury claim:
- Step 1: Filing your personal injury claim. Be sure to include all involved parties within your claim. Filing a claim is the first step because it notifies all parties that you will be seeking compensation due to your injury. If this is where you are in the process, the Florin|Roebig legal team can help.
- Step 2: Negotiating a settlement. This is where your Florida attorney steps in and communicates with opposing parties in an attempt to reach a favorable agreement. Offers and counter-offers will be traded, with a goal of reaching a settlement that suits both parties.
- Step 3: Filing a lawsuit. This step only occurs if you and the negligent party cannot reach a favorable offer. Opposing parties may try to present low-key offers in hopes that you will settle for recovering less than 100 percent of your damages. If you are not willing to do this or if your case is strong enough, your Florida attorney will help you file a suit.
- Step 4: Defending your case in court. This is the part in which negligence is proven, which can be a taxing and difficult process. When defending your claim, your attorney will work to prove that your injury was a result of negligence and that you deserve to be compensated because of it.
- Step 5: Trying your case in court. In some cases, insurance companies will not agree to a favorable settlement, which means your case can go to trial. Having a fearless Florida personal injury attorney who will help you reach an alternative dispute resolution is of utmost importance at this point.
Each of these steps depends on the outcome of the previous step. It is difficult to know how your case will turn out from the beginning because so many factors are at play within personal injury claims.
For this and many other reasons, having an excellent attorney representing you and guiding you through the process can make a vast difference in how your case is handled, from filing the claim, to how far you pursue it, to how much compensation you receive in the end.
List Of Damages That Can Be Claimed In A Florida Personal Injury Case
Compensation from a personal injury case is referred to as “damages” because the plaintiff is attempting to collect on areas of their life that were damaged by the incident. These areas can include health, wellness, and finances.
If you have been injured in an accident in Florida, you may want to file a personal injury claim to recover damages for any medical bills related to that injury, such as doctor’s appointments, surgeries, or an ambulance ride.
But damages can extend further than a person’s short-term physical health. For example, if your injury is keeping you from returning to work, you may want to file a claim that includes recovering damages for wages lost or loss of future working ability.
In these cases, calculating the amount of damages can be fairly straightforward. Other cases may be more difficult to estimate, such as personal injury claims for pain and suffering.
Personal injury claims in Florida typically fall into three categories: compensatory, general, and punitive damages.
However, here is a list of the most common damages awarded in personal injury cases:
- loss of enjoyment
- medical costs
- pain and suffering
- mental anguish
- future medical care
- property damage
- emotional distress
- loss of income
- loss of relationships (consortium)
The majority of all personal injury cases fall into compensatory, which means that any damages awarded are intended to compensate the injured party for any loss due to the accident.
Compensatory damages in personal injury claims exist to help make monetary amends for any financial aspects of the claimant’s life directly affected by the incident. Compensatory damages include medical bills, lost income, and property damages.
General damages are typically sought alongside compensatory damages. These are the more abstract types of damages which can be tough to calculate, such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment, and loss of relationships.
This is why personal injury claims can vary so widely in the amount of damages awarded—placing a value on concepts such as loss of enjoyment or loss of relationships is complicated and changes day to day.
Punitive damages are intended to punish the at-fault party for their misconduct or negligence. Personal injury claims involving punitive damage claims are the most difficult to pursue. If punitive damages are awarded, the state of Florida places a damages cap on how much compensation can be received for any one claim.
List Of Personal Injury Attorneys In Florida
Before filing a personal injury claim, you need to hire the right attorney to represent you in your case.
At Florin|Roebig, we offer you access to a team of capable, experienced personal injury attorneys serving Florida, including:
- Wil H. Florin, B.C.S.
- Tommy D. Roebig, B.C.S.
- Chase P. Florin, B.C.S.
- Parker Y. Florin, LL.M.
- Taylor D. Roebig
- Nollys R. Solarte, O.C.
- Lawrence J. Najem, O.C.
- Andrew M. Leone, O.C.
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How To Find A Personal Injury Attorney In Florida
If you were in an accident in Florida which led to a personal injury due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to receive compensation. Pursuing a personal injury case can be a lengthy and involved process, but may be worth the damages you recover for your loss.
Having an experienced, esteemed Florida injury lawyer on your side can make this process easier to endure and greatly affects the outcome of your case.
The legal team at Florin|Roebig is prepared to guide you through the complex world of personal injury claims and help you reach the most favorable outcome for your case. Contact us today for a consultation.